EFCC recovers huge cash, assets in 2016, proposes N17.2 b for 2017
•To recruit 1,500
• NGO alleges looting of A’Ibom
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday announced that it recovered N102. 913 billion; $8,296 billion; GBP 29,155; £12,475; 117,004 Canadian dollars; 806.50 DIRHAM; 5,000 FRANCS and 2,000 RUPE as proceeds of crime between January and December 2016.
It has also proposed a budget of N17.2 billion for 2017 fiscal year, projecting to recruit 1,500 cadets into its workforce. The figure is 8.5 per cent less than the N18.8 billion budgeted in 2016.
One of the recoveries was $9.750 million and £750,000 from a residence of a suspected corrupt individual in Ibadan and another N1.25 billion from a home of public servant at an unspecified location in the last two weeks.
It said that last year alone, it secured 135 convictions and 25 interim forfeiture orders and five final forfeiture orders in its favour.
Of the total convictions, 46 were from Lagos zone, 30 from Abuja zone, 22 from Port Harcourt zone, 19 from Kano zone, 15 from Enugu zone and three from Gombe zone.
Acting Chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu, made the revelations while defending the EFCC’’s spending of N18.887 billion 2016 approved budget before members of House of Representatives Committee on Drug, Narcotics and Financial Crimes, chaired by Hon. Kayode Oladele.
Magu said to attain the feat within the year, the commission purchased 33 new operational vehicles to boost its operations and recruited 199 detective inspectors and 331 detective assistants.
He however lamented that in the year under review, of the 37 bank accounts that were frozen on the orders of the court, six banks were yet to provide it with information that would be relevant to its investigations.
He explained that the commission could only recruit 331 cadets on equal quota basis except Lagos, Ekiti, Bayelsa and Rivers with lower number.
Oladele pledged the support of the House to the commission such as the introduction of life insurance for EFCC operatives.
Meanwhile, an anti-graft pressure group, Outrage Against Corruption (OAC) has claimed that “after enormous painstaking investigation and support for government’s ongoing investigation into how public officials pillaged and looted the resources of the country,” it “has finally unearthed the monumental looting of billions of Naira belonging to Akwa Ibom State.”
In a statement by its president and secretary, Oladipo Douglas and Ukpong Enang Asuquo, the group said: “ Our investigation at OAC revealed that the plot to steal over N2.7 billion of Akwa Ibom State money even in US dollars equivalent was well planned and executed. The conspiracy involving a former governor of the state and a first generation bank spanned a period of over seven years.
“OAC’s investigation revealed that a former chieftain of the bank connived with the ex-governor to place N5,079,034,378.09 and $22,692,276.08 in bonds and deposits, and rolling them over severally over the seven years period.”
OAC vowed to stop at nothing, including petitioning theEFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and related Offences Commission (ICPC), to further unearth the “fraudulent and corrupt transactions” with the state’s funds deposited with the bank.