The Profile: PROFESSOR Abdullahi Shehu Yibaikwal

Who is Professor Abdullahi Shehu Yibaikwal?

Prof. Abdullahi Shehu Yibaikwal was educated at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria and the University of Abuja, Nigeria for his B.Sc and M.Sc degrees in Internal Relations. He obtained a Ph.D in Criminology at the University of Hong Kong, specializing on anti-corruption and anti-money laundering.

Professor Yibaikwal is a member of the International Association of Financial Crime Investigators (IAFCI); Hong Kong Society of Criminology; and Nigerian Society of International Affairs. He retired as a Director in the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, in 2015 and currently a Professor of Criminology at the National Open University of Nigeria.

Having distinguished himself in his chosen career not only as a brilliant researcher, but also as a quintessential technocrat, he was appointed: (a) Secretary of the Presidential Task Force on Financial Crimes in Nigeria in 1991 (re-appointed on merit after the Task was reconstituted in 1992); (b) Assistant Director, Financial Crimes; (c) Deputy Director/Head of Department of Financial Crimes in the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Drugs and Financial Crimes from 1995 to 1998; and (d) Special Assistant to the Special Adviser to the Head of State on Economic Affairs, Drugs and Financial Crimes from 1998 to 2000.

In these capacities, Prof. Yibaikwal represented Nigeria at many bilateral and multilateral meetings and negotiations on Drugs and Financial Crimes Control, including the UN Ad-Hoc Commitee on the Elaboration of the Transnational Organized Crime Convention. He led the Nigerian delegation to the UNODC/GPML regional Workshop in Grand Bassam, Cote d’Ivoire, which initiated the establishment of an Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundry in West Africa (GIABA) as specialized Institution of the ECOWAS, which he served as Director General for two terms from 2006 to 2014. He has worked as expert/consultant on anti-corruption/money laundering control for many International Organization and Countries around the world, including the Commonwealth Secretariat, Interpol, United Nation Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), Nigeria and International Development Law Organization (IDLO), based in Rome, Italy.

An astute believer and advocate for rule of law, good governance and development expert, he has translated his belief in good governance into guiding principles of his administration during his appointment in 2006 as Administrative Secretary, and later Director General of GIABA.

Prof. Yibaikwal has demonstrated expertise in the area of anti-corruption and money laundering control during his tenure as Program Expert (Ant-Corruption) at the United Nation Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) from 2003 to 2005. Under the UN Global Program against Corruption, his main tasks included capacity building on anti-corruption policies and mechanisms, promoting integrity in public and private sectors, governance/public sector reform and anti-money laundering, as well as recovery.

Upon return to Nigeria and before his assumption of duty in GIABA, he was the Director, Economic & Financial Crimes Commision (EFCC) Training and Research Institute, Abuja, Nigeria.

Professor Abdullahi Yibaikwal has written and published extensively on anti-corruption, governance and anti-money laundering. His books include (i) “Economic and Financial Crimes in Nigeria: Policy Issues and Options” (2006); (ii) ‘ Strategies and Techniques of Prosecuting Economic and Financial Crimes’, which was published in three languages- English, French and Portuguese (2012); (iii) “NIGERIA: The Way Through Corruption to the Well-being of a People” (2015); and most recently (iv) His ground breaking book titled “ELECTION IN NIGERIA: The Long Road to Democracy” (2019). Prof. Yibaikwal has contributed immensely in the development of anti-corruption and anti-money laundering policies, programs and the establishment of Institutions in Nigeria, including the ICPC and EFCC in Nigeria.

Prof. Yibaikwal speaks Bogghom, English and French fluently and is a prolific speaker on institutional reform, transparency, accountability, good governance and development.

As Director General/Chief Executive of GIABA, he:

  • Established a functional Secretariat for GIABA in line with the FATF acceptable standards of a FSRB Secretariat.
  • Developed, reviewed and updated Regional Strategic Frameworks and Action Plans consistent with the FATF Recommendations and the ECOWAS Regional Integration Framework, especially its Vision 2020.
  • Within the framework of the Strategic Plans, he led the regional fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, by inter alia:
    (i) Provide direct support to member States of ECOWAS to enact, review and /or amend legislation against money laundering and terrorist financing;
    (ii) Conducted the mutual evaluations of members to ascertain their level compliance with acceptable anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) standards;
    (iii) Conducted numerous research and typologies studies on the methods, trends and techniques of money laundering (ML) and terrorist financing (TF);
    (iv) Provided direct assistant for the establishment of Financial Intelligence Units (FIUs), which led to the establishment of the fifteen FIUs in the region;
    (v) Promoted strategic partnership with the civil society for the prevention and control of ML/TF;
    (vi) Promoted regional and internal cooperation in the context of ECOWAS.
  • Established GIABA firmly as one of the most effective and efficient ECOWAS Institutions with sound management and governance structures, processes and procedures.
  • Promoted GIABA to be recognized as a FSRB in 2006 and as an Associate Member of the FATF in 2010.

Overall, he exudes a deeper understanding and skill in ECOWAS affairs, including high political contacts with authorities in the region. Throughout his career, he has proved himself as a change agent! He has impacted on lives, communities and nations. His marks in the ECOWAS member States remain indelible.

A disciplined and caring father, he is happily married, blessed with so many children and has contributed to the development of his community, the Nigerian society, ECOWAS region and Africa.

Prof. Abdullahi Y. Shehu is nominated as a non career Ambassador by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR. Before his nomination he is the Chairman, Government Model Secondary School, Old Student, alias Dengi Old Student Association (DOSA).

To updated anytime soon!

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