1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Fraudulent activities, economic mismanagement, corruption, lack of accountability and transparency have been the bane of the economy. Fraud and criminality remained elusive and therefore brought inefficiency in the system, especially in the public sector. This menace lead to the establishment of EFCC in 2002 by an Act of the National Assembly which was later amended in 2004. It was borne out of the determination of the Federal Government to root out corruption and sanitize the Nigerian economic environment by enforcing all economic and financial crimes laws. The Act mandates the EFCC to combat financial and economic crimes and the Commission is empowered to prevent, investigate, prosecute and penalize economic and financial crimes. Also, the EFCC is charged with and has been investigating cases of abuse of office, diversion of public funds through fraudulent award of contracts, tax fraud, illegal bunkering, terrorism financing, capital market fraud, cyber crime, banking fraud, etc. With a mission to curb the menace of corruption that constitutes the clog in the wheel of progress; protect national and foreign investments in the country; imbue the spirit of hard work in the citizenry and discourage the crave for ill-gotten wealth; identify such ill-gotten wealth and confiscate them; build an upright work force in both public and private sector of the economy; and contribute to the global war against financial crimes and terrorism financing; the advent of the EFCC has impacted positively on Nigeria’s global acceptance being a turning point in the country’s anti-corruption crusade. Since its establishment, the EFCC has taken the bull by the horns working tenaciously to fulfill its mandate. Under the current leadership, it vigorously pursues its mandate of investigating cases earlier highlighted; the Commission has made concerted efforts in identifying, tracing and freezing, confiscating, or seizing proceeds derived from such illicit activities. EFCC, from inception, has also played host to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), vested with the responsibility of collecting suspicious transactions reports (STRs) from financial and designated non-financial institutions, analyzing and disseminating them to all relevant government agencies and other FIUs all over the world. So far, the Commission has been able to and still recording successes in several areas of its mandate. Among others, it has recorded several convictions on corruption, money laundering, oil pipeline vandalism and related offences.