The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have expressed readiness to foster strategic partnership to better help in their respective mandates.
This was the tone of discussion between leaders of the two agencies when the new Oyo State Commander of the NDLEA, Josephine Ruth Obi, paid a familiarisation visit to the Ibadan Zonal Head of EFCC, Friday Ebelo, at the Commission’s Ibadan office on Monday.
Mrs Obi explained how NDLEA is preparing its staff for the envisaged relationship, adding that the agency is raising an elite team of officers for training on money laundering.
According to her, “I tell my officers to always look out for evidence of money laundering. They shouldn’t just be after the drugs. The agency itself is now emphasizing on money laundering.
“Our men are receiving plenty of training on money laundering. Some of them have gone on training on financial investigation. We have a lot to do together,” she said.
The NDLEA boss also pledged her agency’s support for the EFCC saying the two agencies are mutually engaged in the business of securing Nigeria against fraud and other criminal acts.
In his response, Ebelo noted that the two agencies have more areas of convergence in their respective statutory mandates. This, according to him, is heavier on areas of terrorism financing and money laundering.
He identified drug peddling as the main source of terrorism financing, which, according to him, is among the core areas of focus for the EFCC.
Ebelo called for more synergy between the two agencies to effectively tackle drug-related crimes.
“We need to work together to ensure a well-secured Nigeria because, without Nigeria, there will neither be EFCC nor NDLEA. We just have to come together and work in synergy to see how we can reduce drug abuse and other forms of criminality to the barest minimum,” he said.
Obi was accompanied to the EFCC office by some of the senior officers in her command.