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In business, there’s
always a risk of being swindled, even when dealing with supposed ‘partners’,
agents, distributors, vendors or contractors.
Some protection is
afforded entrepreneurs, businesses, and businessmen within our laws. Several
law enforcement agencies in Nigeria also do a fine job of administering these
laws.


What fraud looks like?
Fraud comes in different
forms such as unjust enrichment, sharp practices, conflict of interest or abuse
of office and deceit.

It is unlawful enterprise
or scheme in which a dishonest individual uses deception to get an unfair
advantage over another. It could be under the guise of utilizing tricks
directly, or fooling someone else in order to get access to their money.

How to React
It is best to collaborate
with law enforcement agents. The complaint should be brought to their notice
via a well written petition that chronicles all material events leading up to
the loss or inconvenience suffered. When a contractor, partner or vendor unjustly
enriches himself at the expense of another person, or deceives the same person,
this should be reported to the relevant law enforcement agencies.

Why Lawyers?
By reason of their
practice, experience and skill-set, they are well positioned to help victims of
fraud when their services are sought. After consulting with the victim they
render counsel on how best to address the situation i.e. instituting an action
either in tort against the person(s) or as a criminal action.

How to involve Law
Enforcement Agencies
Law Enforcement Agencies
such as The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), The Independent
Corrupt Practices (and Related Offences) Commission (“ICPC”) and The Nigerian
Police Force (Special Fraud Unit) can be involved once the victim of fraud can
show with evidence that he has been defrauded. A victim’s complaint must
present a strong case for preliminary investigation.

The Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission (EFCC)
If an individual has been
defrauded, the popular way of seeking redress is by filing a petition as an
individual or an organization. Once this falls within the purview of the EFCC
Act, an investigation will commence right away.

The Independent Corrupt
Practices (and Related Offences) Commission (“ICPC”)
If anyone has been a
victim of fraud, the process through which they can seek relief is by filing a
petition at the Commission once they can show that the fraudulent act is within
the ambit of the commission.

 The Nigerian Police
Force (Special Fraud Unit)
The Nigerian Police Force
(Special Fraud Unit) has a mandate to tackle cases of special fraud and has the
following criteria to establish special fraud, namely:
  • The fraud in question exceeds
    N2,000,000;
  • There are Multiple victims of the
    suspected fraud; and
  • Other law enforcement agencies don’t
    have legal or financial capacity
Have you been a victim of
fraud? Contact the relevant Law Enforcement Agencies or seek the services of a
lawyer for legal advice and representation.
Hightower Lawyers 
Phone: +234 (0)70
1497 9879