19th April, 2012
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Australian Federal Police, AFP, on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance law enforcement partnership between Nigeria and Australia.
Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde who signed the MoU on behalf of the Commission, said it is expected to take relationship between the two agencies to a higher level.
The MoU was signed by Lamorde and EFCC Secretary, Emmanuel Akomaye for the EFCC and Australian Ambassador to Nigeria , Mr. Ian McConville and Superintendent Richard Stanford, Liaison officer of the Australian Federal Police based in Pretoria, South Africa.
Lamorde, who commended the efforts of the Australian Federal Police, thanked the Australian government for the MoU.
He said that the Commission’s relationship with the Australian law enforcement establishment especially the Queensland Police dates back to 2004.
He said the two agencies have been collaborating in tackling Transnational Organized Crimes, adding that officers of the Commission have also attended programmes organised by Queensland Police in Melbourne.
He said the MoU will take the relationship between the two countries to a higher level.
“As law enforcement partners, there is the need to relate on law enforcement to law enforcement basis without necessarily engaging in formal request that is always attended with some bureaucratic bottlenecks. This MoU will enable us to exchange information, exchange intelligence and do joint operations, where necessary.”
The EFCC Chairman also said that the two agencies will continue to help each other in terms of capacity building down the line.
“We stand to learn from each other’s expertise, it will be helpful for both law enforcement organisations, the AFP and the EFCC.”
EFCC Secretary, Akomaye, earlier in a welcome remark, noted that advances in technology had their downside as fraudsters now use the internet to perpetrate crimes.
“In the light of this, the EFCC and the AFP deem it necessary to sign this MoU so that this law enforcement to law enforcement collaboration can be enhanced,” he said.
While expressing his belief in the collaboration, the Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Ian McConville says the EFCC is one organisation in Nigeria that is doing a very commendable job in very difficult circumstances.
“We the Australian government and in particular the Australian Federal Police and the Richard Stanford team promise a fruitful collaboration with the EFCC. Working with my team from here and working with Stanford and his team from Pretoria, South Africa, I believe this MoU will be very fruitful,” he said.
In his contribution, Stanford said his team’s mission was to identify threats against the country they represent from organised crimes.
“And when we identify those threats, then we identify the organisations that need collaboration to surmount the threats. In Nigeria, EFCC is doing a wonderful job. EFCC has been in the forefront, assisting Australian victims of economic crimes by investigating, arresting and prosecuting the culprits; and even repatriating the proceeds of crimes back to the victims in Australia. These efforts are commendable,” he said.
He also commended the EFCC for its organisation, expertise and planning in hosting the Regional Engagement Meeting on Transnational Fraud for West African Law Enforcement Agencies which ended on Wednesday, 18 April at the EFCC Academy, Karu, Abuja.
Other officials who accompanied the envoy to the signing of the MoU are: Christopher Watkins, Third Secretary, Australian Embassy and Stuart Mooney, Second Secretary, Australian Embassy, Nigeria.