“We Have Recovered Billions In 100 Days”- EFCC boss

By Timothy Choji, Abuja

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Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has so far recovered over N6 billion, 30 real estates and 32 automobiles between March and June this year.

EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa disclosed this on Thursday, during the weekly briefing organized by the Presidential Communication Team.

Bawa, who used the occasion to reel out his scorecard in the last 100 days, said: “From the time I took over, we have recovered over N6 billion, over $161 million, over £13,000, €1,730, 200 Canadian dollars, CFA 373,000, ¥8,430.

“We have recovered 30 real estates, one carpet, 13 electronics, one farm land, one factory, two motorcycles, one filling station and about 32 automobiles.”

He however, stated that not all recoveries made by the agency went into the coffers of the Nigerian government.

“Let me use this opportunity to clarify issues. There are a number of recoveries that the EFCC has made over the years but not all recoveries made belong to the Federal Government.

“We have made recoveries for victims of criminals and they can be individuals, local government, state government, federal government, corporate entities whether in Nigeria or outside Nigeria.

“There are also recoveries that are indirect recoveries. Just a couple of weeks back, we recovered $100 million for the Nigeria Ports Authority but the monies were paid into the account of NPA but through our efforts. Am I not going to record that we have recovered such an amount for NPA? Are you going to see it in the EFCC recovered account with the CBN? No.

There are recoveries that are made directly into the EFCC account and these are through systems and processes. There is Department of asset forfeiture and recovery management department in EFCC responsible for collating all the data regarding recovered assets, assets on interest forfeiture and assets on final forfeiture as well as their location and of course their management,” he explained.

While assuring Nigerians that public sector corruption will reduce under his leadership, the EFCC Chairman lamented the rising number of internet fraud.

He said over 1000 internet fraudsters were arrested within the period under review and they would soon be prosecuted.

He said: “The rising increase of internet fraud is a huge problem. From January to 10th of June 2021, we arrested 1,502 internet fraudsters across the country. On Monday that the court resumed, we attempted to file close to about 800 cases of internet fraud. It is a serious problem and we are working tirelessly towards curtailing it.

“We are working with state governments that we have identified to be more vulnerable to this. It is something parents, elders, institutions should be talking to one another, it is tarnishing the image of this country. They are doing it on a daily basis, they see it as another way of getting another income which is worrisome to us.

“The chunk of those doing this are young boys between 25 and 34, in their active lives. Coincidentally, I am one of them being a young man, people from my constituency are the ones doing this and we will continue to talk to them.

“The Commission is focused on these cyber criminals and will continue to carry out enlightenment, carry their fight to their enclave and collaborate with our partners particularly the media. We need your assistance here. We are building a tactical center that will solely deal with this issue of cybercrime.”

Prosecution of high profile politicians

Bawa disclosed that far, the EFCC has secured over 185 prosecutions and the prosecution of high profile politicians involved in corruption would soon resume, since court workers have called off their strike.

“We have prosecuted a number of people within this period, secured 185 convictions and you are aware that for two months the courts have been on strike, we have filed 367 cases and within this week, we are going to file 800 cases in court on public corruption as well as cybercrime.

“All the known politically exposed cases that you are aware of that are in court are still in court and we are vigorously and intelligently going to sustain their prosecution.

Yesterday (Wednesday), you have all reported it, we succeeded in securing the convictions of an ex-bank MD, Francis Atuche, he was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment on all 21 out of the 27 count charges, of course it is to run con-concurrently, it involves about N27 billion. We have been prosecuting that matter from the 16th of October 2009, judgement was only given yesterday.

“We are determined to continue to prosecute no matter how long it takes and no matter the amount of resources involved. And that is why those of us in law enforcement say it time and time again, there is no budget in law enforcement because you never can tell where it will take you, it can take you up to the six continents and back and you have to prove your case beyond all reasonable doubts.

“The case of Air Marshal Adesola Amodu is ongoing, Ibrahim Shema, Adebayo Alao-Akala, Ikedi Ohakim, Muazu Aliyu, Orji Uzor Kalu, we are going to prosecute them again all over after 12 years,” he said.

 

 

 

Emmanuel Ukoh

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