We’ll go After Landlords, Agents Who Rent Houses to Yahoo Boys —EFCC Vows

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has warned landlords and caretakers against renting property out to internet fraudster also known as yahoo boys.

The anti-graft agency further stated that ignorance or being uneducated will no longer be tolerated as an excuse in implementing the law against the use of premises for fraud ‘Yahoo Yahoo’ or other criminal activities.

Speaking during a Twitter engagement on Wednesday evening, officials of the EFCC said the onus was on landlords to do due diligence, do a background check of their prospective customers, ask basic documents and verify the particulars they are given.

Deputy Director, Legal and Prosecution, Sylvanus Tahir and Assistant Director, Legal and Prosecution, Cosmos Ugwu, who led the conversation, said it was in the collective interest of landlords, caretakers to do due diligence else they would fall guilty of extant laws.

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They noted that it was imperative for landlords not educated to engage those who are educated to assist them in asking relevant questions and verifying the particulars of those they want to let their houses to.

They explained that the commission was simply enforcing the provision of Section 3 of Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 which stipulates thus: “A person who, being the occupier or is concerned in the management of any premises, causes or knowingly permits the premises to be used for any purpose which constitutes an offence under this Act is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than 5 years without the option of a fine.”

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They, however, said the EFCC continued to explore all available channels of information to get more Nigerians sensitised on the provisions of the act.

On his part, Cosmos Ugwu said: “The commission is mindful of what breach of this entails, hence we are going out to sensitise. It is left for landlords to make an effort to educate themselves. Ignorance is not an excuse.

“The National Assembly has passed the law. People would make an effort to know what the law is and advise accordingly. The menace of ‘Yahoo Yahoo’ and other crimes deals a deadly blow to this country”, he added.

Similarly, Sylvanus Tahir said: “It is in the collective interest of landlords, caretakers. The menace faced from activities of Yahoo boys cannot be overstated. If you have not fallen a victim, you will not understand. We want to sensitise Nigerians on the existence of the law. There are things we do ignorantly. Those who have heard should pass the information to others. The law criminalises the use of premises for wrong reasons or to cause somebody to use your premises for cyber crimes and other crimes”, he added.

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About 6,000 Nigerians joined the conversation where Nelly Agwu questioned the extent to which landlords can do profiling while Birgit Uwaila Umaigba asked what resources the EFCC has put in place to acquaint landlords of the information.


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