… Paschal Okeke
The United States Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) in collaboration with the CLEEN has launched a pilot project on public engagement for law enforcement agencies in Nigeria.
The launch which attracted a wide participation of representatives from security agencies in the country was aimed at strengthening relations between criminal justice actors, anti-graft agencies and citizens through improved and effective communication for transparency and accountability.
Speaking at the launch in Abuja on Thursday , the US Embassy Representative, Aruna Amirthanayagam said, “This pilot project will focus on supporting the EFCC and the Nigeria Police Force to provide timely and relevant information to the public on their efforts to fight crime and corruption”.
He disclosed that the U.S. Embassy has been working closely with civil society, the Nigeria Police Force and the EFCC on various initiatives to enhance government transparency, improve security, and investigate and prosecute complex financial crimes.
“This project supports those efforts by enhancing communication with the public and building trust with law enforcement organizations,” he added.
Also speaking, EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, represented by the Commission Secretary, Mr. Emmanuel Adegboyega, disclosed that the commission already has a robust platform in conjunction with Interpol to track down corrupt persons, stressing that there is no safe haven for scrupulous persons in the country.
He therefore called for synergy among anti-graft agencies adding that: “If there is no synergy among the anti-graft agencies, little or no success can be achieved”.
The Executive Director CLEEN Foundation, Benson Olugbuo, on his part, stressed the need to enhance public confidence in the criminal justice actors such as police and EFCC.
He advocated for a system that operates zero tolerance for corruption, adding that open communication be actively pursued in Nigeria’s law enforcement institutions.
“Then there will be a reduction in the potentials to partake in corruption and Nigeria’s socio-economic development will be significantly improved”, he said.
The director however assured that the foundation in collaboration with its US partners would organize a training for media practitioners to enhance their effectiveness in the campaign against criminality in the country.