No fewer than 140 graft cases have stalled due to inadequate forensic experts and non-renewal of digital forensic licences by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
This is despite the fact that the EFCC received N14.57bn in 2019.
Out of 177 cases that required forensics, the commission’s Forensic and Crime Laboratory Services Directorate concluded only 37 cases, made five court appearances while 140 were pending.
Also, the Chemical and Biological Forensics Section, which caters for the collection, examination and analysis of evidence, especially from the extractive industries, did not process cases due to the absence of equipment and manpower.
According to the EFCC 2019 annual report, the Quality Control and Assurance Section also did not handle cases during the year because of the absence of equipment and manpower.
The EFCC had submitted a N22.07bn budget proposal in the 2019, which the erstwhile acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, said was inadequate to meet the commission’s needs.
He had complained about the reduction in capital expenditure proposal from N15.196bn to N3.978bn from the approved estimate of N10.07bn in 2018.
The report disclosed that the Fingerprint and Crime Scene Management Section processed and stored 300 suspects’ data in the Automated Fingerprint Identification System.
It further stated that 70 documents were questioned by forensics, 27 cases concluded while 43 others were pending.
Meanwhile, no fewer than 756 policemen and 39 other officials were seconded to the commission in addition to its 2,592 regular staff, 12 contract staff, and others, totalling 3,403 workers.
It could not be confirmed whether the anti-graft agency had now engaged sufficient forensic experts or renewed the required digital forensic licenses as the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, could not be reached for comment on Monday.
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