Diamondsmith De’Great Universal, a private organisation, has advocated stiff penalties for fraud-related cases to boost the fight against financial crimes.
Mr James Abidemi, the Director of Operations/CEO of the organisation, made the appeal at a news conference in Abuja.
He decried carrying incidents of fraud by fraudsters against unsuspecting citizens to often hinder meaningful development.
According to him, there is the need for government agencies like Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation and Nigerian Communication Commission to intervene through their Cyber Control Room (CCR).
Abidemi said: “This will help to wipe-off detrimental publications against victims of fraud like myself and many others on the internet and national dailies.
“The media should thoroughly investigate issues about fraud before reporting such, to avoid spread of fake news and libel against intellectual property of unsuspecting citizens. I want the Federal Government to wade in on issues of fraudsters and save Nigeria and other vulnerable Nigeria’s from the national disaster.
“This is because unbalanced reports can put a country in in bad light, so I want the government to intervene in my matter and issues related to illicit financial flows at national and international levels.
“To correct false impression and protect the dignity of vulnerable citizens: to promote the wellbeing of fraud victims and prevent them from unnecessary health implications like shock or depression.”
The company director reiterated that there should be proper sensitisation of fraud investigative officers about proper ways to correct the impression that complainants are not always right.
He explained that such would enable officers prosecuting fraud related cases thoroughly cross-examine such before prosecution, to avoid defamation or libel caused unsuspecting fraud victims by fraudsters.
“All Nigerians should not be tagged fraudsters as sometimes tagged abroad; government and the international community, millions of Nigerians do exercise their moral obligation to fight crimes and corruption.
“Nigerians are patriotic and must be encouraged in the ongoing fight against financial crimes not just in Nigeria, but Africa at large”.
He observed the practice by security operatives to think that complainant is always right in cases where somebody alleged you during prosecution hindered criminal justice.
This, according to him, sometimes the police only go after the accused persons without due diligence and then, the matter is thrown to Court.
“In my own case, I was invited to Lagos from Enugu by a business associate in May 2022, who wanted me to help their company initiate payment for goods that were ordered from China and Dubai.
“Unsuspecting, I accepted to assist them indeed, because I have company account in Canada with JD EUROWAY BANCORP & TRUST/BMO through which my company settles her foreign bills and make funds available for legitimate importation.
“The so-called business associate that brought me to Lagos started deviating from the right business approach of which I later realised they were fraudsters.
“I duly requested for valid Proforma Invoice to ensure legal process of my organisation service delivery to them, rather they provided me with fake profit and Invoice.
“When I raised objection to the fake document, the next thing they did was to kidnap me and kept me where I would not have choice, but to do their bidding,” he added,
He maintained that the case has been duly reported to the Police and a court case instituted to ensure justice.