Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, has attributed the rising successes of the Commission in the anti-corruption fight to the political will of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Magu stated this on Thursday in a statement signed by Mr Dele Oyewale, the commission’s spokesperson, after a World Press Conference to mark the 2020 Democracy Day and Anti-corruption Summit
The EFCC boss attributed the commission’s success to the present government which allows for non-interference in its works and zero tolerance for any act of corruption.
“The political will we have enjoyed from the present government in the fight against corruption is unprecedented.
“The president allows the EFCC to operate without interference and this has been one of our biggest strengths,” he said.
The EFCC has secured 2,240 convictions and recovered assets in excess of N980 billion in the last five years.
“ We have recovered a large array of non-monetary assets like properties, estates, private jets, oil vessels, filling stations, schools, hotels, trucks, automobiles, jewelry, plaza, shopping malls, electronics, amongst others,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the Port Harcourt Zonal office of the EFCC, a total sum of N3.214 billion had been released to the Imo State Government out of the N7.9 billion frozen in different accounts discovered in the investigation of former Governor Rochas Okorocha.
Mr Usman Imam, Port Harcourt Zonal Head said that the money was released to the State government to pay salaries, pensions and meet its obligations to workers.
While urging Nigerians to take ownership of the anti-corruption fight, Magu stated that: “As I always emphasise, public ownership of the anti-corruption war is one of the best showcase of patriotism.
“We must continue to show greater commitment and support for the government in this regard and work with the EFCC to make anti-corruption a national war.”
Magu, however, noted that there are challenges on the way, especially in the case involving the former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
“We have some challenges in Diezani’s case because we have investigated her case for more than five years, ” he added.
He vowed that the former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu would be brought to trial, no matter the impediment.
“The judgement is clear. We will go back to court working on the judicial directive from the Supreme Court.
“Across the zones of the EFCC, facts and figures have been rolled out about the increasing achievements of the Commission, based on its assigned mandate.
“Nigerians are also being encouraged to show more commitment to the fight against corruption, ” he said.
Also, the Lagos Zonal Head of the EFCC, Mr Muhammed Rabo, noted that youths are critical stakeholders in ridding the nation of unsavory and fraudulent practices and charged them to steer clear of such conduct.
“One critical stakeholder in the fight is the youth. However, most economic and financial crimes, especially cyber crimes are committed by young people,” he said.
On his own part, Malaifia Yakubu, Kaduna Zonal Head of the Commission charged the public to key into the whistle-blowing policy of the government and exposed fraudsters in their vicinity.
Meanwhile, the Ilorin Zonal Office of EFCC has uncovered over 1000 ghost workers in the payroll of Kwara State Universal Basic Education Board (KWSUBEB) and a cash recovery of over N138, 000, 000 (One Hundred and Thirty-eight Million Naira) from the state’s treasury looters.
Head, Ilorin Zonal Office of the EFCC, Mallam Isyaku Sharu disclosed this in Ilorin, on Thursday, while speaking with newsmen on the zone’s achievement during the lockdown.
He thumbed up the zone for living up to its responsibilities despite the social restriction and global health challenge posed by the Covid 19 pandemic.
“You will recall that the zone had earlier handed over N374, 000, 000 to the state Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazak on two occasions. The zone has also uncovered alleged diversion of about N750, 000, 000 from the Light Up Kwara Project in which about N72, 000, 000 was used in purchasing a property in Guzape area of Abuja,” Sharu reminded the press.
Within the past 16 months of its operation in Kwara state, the EFCC achievements includes interim forfeiture of eight residential buildings in the state capital, two residential buildings in Ikoyi, Lagos state, all worth several millions of naira and final forfeiture of several vehicles.
Fifty-two convictions were recorded 52 within the period.
Sharu appealed the people of the zone to continue to support the EFCC in achieving their goal.