The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied that its chairman, Mr. Ola Olukoyede labelled 70 percent of Nigerian university youths as internet fraudsters and criminals
Olukoyede came under fire after he was quoted to have said “it is worrisome that seven out of 10 students today are involved in cybercrimes”.
SaharaReporters on Wednesday reported that the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) demanded that the anti-graft agency boss must provide his empirical research evidence to prove his claim or retract his statement.
But reacting to the controversy on Thursday, the EFCC spokesman, Dele Oyewale, in a statement made available to journalists said that Olukoyede’s statement was misinterpreted.
According to him, the EFCC boss never said that seven out of 10 Nigerian students were criminals.
The statement said, “The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes, EFCC, has been drawn to some needless misrepresentation of the concerns of the Executive Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ola Olukoyede to the rising incidences of internet-related crimes involving youths across the country.
“At a recent meeting with some representatives of Civil Society Organisations, CSOs that paid him a courtesy visit, he called for wider media enlightenment of youths as a counter-measure against the menace of internet fraud,” part of the statement read.
The EFCC spokesperson however stated that Olukoyede “did say 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”.
“At no time did he say that ‘seven out of 10’ Nigerian students are criminals. His concerns still border on breaking the jinx of mass indulgence of youths in cybercrimes.
“The EFCC wishes to assure the public that Olukoyede is doubly committed to the progress of Nigerian youths and this underscores his calls for collaborative interventions in offering them more productive and sustainable alternatives,” the statement added.