By Ebitonye Akpodigha
Financial institutions operating in Nigeria have been charged to refrain from any form of unethical practices that could stain the image and status of the nation and its economy.
This appeal was especially made to Nigerian banks by the South East Zonal Head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Johnson Ayodeji Babalola, at a special stakeholders meeting at the Commission’s office in Enugu.
Present at the meeting were senior officials of banks operating in Enugu, Anambra, Ebonyi, Abia and Imo States.
Mr Babalola admonished the bankers not to turn themselves into pawns in the hands unscrupulous persons, saying “You should be careful that all these so called big men do not use you to effect their selfish agenda and, after everything, they will dump you to face the repercussion.”
He asked for the cooperation of the bankers, emphasising that the EFCC cannot effectively fulfil its mandate without the cooperation of banks.
“Our investigations often involve information on lodgement and movement of cash, your cooperation is needed to improve on intelligence required for progress in any case,” he told his guests.
Also, Head of Legal and Prosecution of the EFCC, Enugu zone, Mr Joshua Saidi, urged the bankers to acquaint themselves with laws relating to their job especially the preparation and production of statement of account as they may be required during trials as court evidence.
During the interactive session, some of the staff of the Commission and the bankers expressed concerns on issues they felt were militating against the smooth working relationship between the two stakeholders such as Know Your Customer (KYC) regime, quality of reports from banks and document verification among others.