Updated: EFCC clarifies ‘70% of Nigerian students are internet fraudsters’ claim

 Updated: EFCC clarifies ‘70% of Nigerian students are internet fraudsters’ claim

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has clarified issues regarding its claim that 70% of Nigerian students are fraudsters.

On Monday, it was reported that the EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyede, said: “It is worrisome that seven out of 10 students today are involved in cybercrimes,” describing internet-related crimes as a threat to society.”

He stated this while engaging a delegation from Daar Communication PLC at EFCC headquarters in Jabi, Abuja.

Reacting in a statement, NANS countered the EFCC chairman’s claim.

In a statement signed by Comrade Akinteye Afeez Babatunde, NANS senate president, the union asked the anti-graft agency to either prove its allegation or retract the claim.

“This baseless assertion not only tarnishes the reputation of our hardworking and dedicated student community but also lacks any empirical basis,” the statement reads.

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“NANS, representing the voice of Nigerian students nationwide, stands firm in refuting the claims made by the EFCC Chairman.

“Our students have consistently demonstrated excellence in academics, leadership, and community service. To label the majority of them as criminals is not only an injustice but also an irresponsible generalization.

“We believe in the principle of innocent until proven guilty, and sweeping statements that paint an entire demographic with a broad brush are not only damaging but also perpetuate harmful stereotypes.

“It is essential to address the issue of crime without unfairly stigmatizing an entire group of students who are working diligently towards their educational and personal development.

“NANS calls upon the EFCC Chairman to provide concrete evidence supporting such a sweeping statement or retract the statement immediately. We believe in constructive dialogue and collaboration to address any concerns related to criminal activities.

“As the elected representatives of Nigerian students, we are committed to fostering a positive and conducive environment for learning, growth, and development.

“We call for a more nuanced and evidence-based approach when discussing issues that impact the reputation of our nation’s students.

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“Furthermore, we find it necessary to remind the Chairman that the past removal of two EFCC Chairmen was not due to the alleged criminal activities of Nigerian students but rather over issues related to fraud within the organization itself. This highlights the importance of addressing internal concerns rather than unfairly targeting innocent student populations.

“We remind the EFCC Chairman to be mindful of the potential consequences of his words and to respect the dignity of the student population. Failure to do so may inadvertently provoke the anger of Nigerian students across the country.”

EFCC Reacts

However, the EFCC in a statement signed by the Head of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale via X clarified the issue stating that Olukoyede never said that “seven out of 10 Nigerian students are criminals”.

However, the EFCC boss said that “reports and intelligence available to him indicated that, unless this trajectory of youth involvement in internet fraud is addressed and reversed, the future of their leadership of our great nation may be threatened and if it continues in the next 10 years, 7 out 10 of our youths may be getting involved in cybercrimes.”

EFCC also assured the public of Olukoyede’s commitment to the progress of Nigerian youths.

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