By Kingsley Nwezeh
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday launched an online App, Eagle Eye, designed to enable easy reporting of financial crimes by members of the public.
Speaking at the event in Abuja, the Chairman of the commission, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, warned against false information that could mislead the agency in its investigations.
He said the full weight of the law would be brought to bear on purveyors of misleading information.
He said informants wishing to provide verifiable tips and leads to aid its investigation are free to come under the whistle blower policy of the federal government.
“It is wrong to mislead the commission. Anybody that has malicious intent in the process of giving information to us will be dealt with according to the law”, he said.
Bawa described the App, the first by any law enforcement agency in Nigeria, as a product of ingenuity by a staff of the commission.
He described it as an application that was conceived, designed and developed by the EFCC.
According to the EFCC chairman, the initiative is a clear demonstration of his pledge on assumption of office, to run an agency that is technology-driven.
“The Eagle Eye represents a new experience in information sharing and crime reporting between the public and the EFCC.
“Apart from complementing the existing channels for reporting economic crimes, the unique advantage of this application is that it eliminates direct person-to-person interface in the reporting process and guarantees anonymity which is an added incentive to effective whistle blowing”.
While appealing to members of the public to take advantage of the app in bringing cases of corruption and economic crimes to the knowledge of the EFCC, Bawa said, “with the app, those who hitherto were afraid to report corruption cases to the commission either for fear of being identified by the culprits or having their identities revealed, can now do so with the assurance of full anonymity”.
He emphasised that the Eagle Eye App, would go a long way in aiding the reportage of fraudulent activities of individuals particularly in the case of money laundering through real estate.
“With the Eagle Eye, Nigerians and Non-Nigerians can easily take a picture of a property suspected to have been fraudulently or corruptly acquired and report through the app seamlessly”, he said.
He noted that media practitioners occupy important positions not only in helping to bring the knowledge of the application to the public, but also making use of it and helping others to understand how it could be deployed to further the fight against economic crimes including corruption.
“With the Eagle Eye, you have at your fingertips a device that will ultimately ensure that there is no hiding place for the corrupt in Nigeria”, he further explained.
He said “the app is a user-friendly application with features that can be navigated by any literate person. The first step is to download it to a device from either the Apple of Google play store.
“For those who want to key into the whistle blowing policy of the federal government and obtain reward for reporting corruption, such persons should indicate in the information they are providing”.
He warned that “there are penalties clearly stipulated in the laws for giving false information that could mislead the commission”