Verify facts before publication, EFCC boss urges journalists

EFCC Chairman, Abdulraheed Bawa1
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The Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, Wednesday, during a workshop with journalists on the effective reporting of economic and financial crimes, urged media platforms and journalists to be cautious in the coverage of economic crimes and to ensure verification of stories before publication.

Bawa, at the workshop titled, “Effective Reporting of Economic and Financial Crimes,” held at the EFCC Headquarters in Abuja, noted that there were some issues about the media profiling of the anti-graft agency in an undesirable manner.

He specifically noted that the media sometimes portrayed the approach of the commission in fighting cybercrime as draconian, adding that it was perhaps borne out of a poor understanding of the anti-narcotics agency’s modus operandi.

He said, “While wishing you a happy deliberation, let me use this opportunity to appeal to the media to be cautious in the coverage of economic crimes and ensure you verify your facts before publication. As a worthy, dependable, and reliable ally, I want to use this opportunity to further urge media practitioners to put the interest of our country at heart, particularly as it relates to a conscientious effort not to celebrate the corrupt in our midst, but to expose them on the pages of your newspapers, screens of television, or on our various online platforms.

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“The war against corruption is a worthy fight for the soul of Nigeria, and for the future generation. It should not be left to the EFCC alone. Nevertheless, there are issues in the media profiling of the Commission that are less than desirable.

“The notion, for instance, that the Commission is draconian in its approach to fighting cybercrime is perhaps borne out of poor understanding of its modus operandi. But I am convinced that at the end of this workshop, we will all be better educated on the processes and procedures of the EFCC.

“As watchdog of society, you must be mindful that your reportage is a mirror that shapes global perception of our institutions and nation. It logically follows that this sacred duty is one that must be discharged with a lot of responsibility and, of course, patriotism.”

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