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How underage boys open accounts, get driver’s licences for fraud — EFCC

…Says Edo ranks second in terms of conviction after Lagos

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has revealed that underage boys, who are into internet fraud popularly called ‘Yahoo Yahoo’ do age declaration to enable them to open bank accounts and get driver’s licences to expend their proceeds from the crimes, as it vowed to go after government agencies and individuals that issue the papers for the fraudulent declarations.

The Zonal Director of the EFCC in charge of Edo, Delta and Ondo states, Effa Okim, stated this in Benin City, while on a courtesy visit to the Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, led by Festus Alenkhe.

He also disclosed that Edo State was second to Lagos in terms of convictions despite the small size of the state.

Okim said parents who normally claim that their children were underage when convicted would also go in for it for their complicity in the forgery of documents.

He said: “Crime, what we call yahoo yahoo is visible in our streets. When you walk on our streets, when you visit our hotels per second, you see these boys and it is so visible that it is disturbing and in addition to being visible, the statistics that we have is that Edo is after Lagos in terms of conviction.

“It calls for concern because in terms of size, Edo is not big but look at the slant on the level of convictions, it is not a good reputation and for me. Edo is too great in Nigerian history to be reduced to that level in terms of criminality.

“When you hear that a 12-year-old boy has been sent to jail, that in law he is not supposed to go jail because he is underage but it happens here often because they go and agree with some authorities and do age declaration stating that they are 18 just to enable them to open an account and put their criminal structures in place and at the end, when they are arrested, their father will come to say their children are underage.

“We are asking them where were you when he got his driver’s licence, where were you when your underage son opened an account because in the Nigerian law, an underage cannot open an account? Where were you when your son was irresponsibly spending money?”

He said the commission in line with its mandate and vision was ready to partner with the media “to reduce the visibility of crime on our streets.”

On his part, Alenkhe urged the new zonal director to maintain an open-door policy to always make information available to journalists.

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