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EFCC recovered N473.1 billion, $98.2 million in 2017, says Magu



• Court orders forfeiture of £578, 080 found in commercial bank
The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu has disclosed that his outfit recovered the sum of N473,065, 195,977.50 in 2017.

Magu who appeared before members of the Kayode Oladele led House of Representatives committee on financial crimes yesterday to defend his outfit’s budget, further stated that an additional sum of $98,258,124.97, £ 294,851.82, €7,247,363.75 ; 443,400.00 Dirham and 70,500.00 South African Rand were recovered during the period under review.

He explained that the amount comprised the final forfeiture of N32 billion and $ 5 million to the coffers of the government from the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Alison-Diezani Madueke.

The amount includes the recovery and final forfeiture of N449 million discovered at Legico Plaza in Victoria Island, Lagos, final forfeiture of over $43 million discovered in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, recovery of over N329 billion from petroleum marketers by the commission’s Kano office.

The amount also includes withholding tax recovery of over N27.7 billion from banks, Nigerian Ports Authority recovery of over €6.6 million, recoveries of about N1.1 billion on behalf of AMCON, and recovery of subsidy fraud funds of over N4 billion.

Magu who said a key challenge facing his outfit lies in the paucity of funds to implement the capital component of monies budgeted to his outfit, told the lawmakers that a director of the Osborne Towers Ikoyi was related to the sacked Director General of the Nigeria intelligence agency ( NIA) , Mr. Ayodele Oke.

He said insufficient release of funds was responsible for the inability of his outfit to ensure completion of his new office complex.

He presented a budget proposal of N21.62 billion which represents 27 per cent increase of the N17.2 billion appropriated to his outfit in the 2017 fiscal year. Of the amount, he stated that N7.07 is for capital expenditure, N11.015 billion for personnel and the sum of N3.6 billion is for overhead expenditure.

Meanwhile, Justice Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court, Lagos, yesterday ordered the final forfeiture of the sum of £578,080, found by the EFCC in the account of a maritime firm, ZAL Marine Limited domiciled in Diamond Bank.

Justice Saidu made the final forfeiture order after entertained an ex-parte application argued by the counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, under the provisions of section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006.

Oyedepo had claimed that the money sought to be forfeited was reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities of the respondent.
He alleged that the maritime firm through some employees of the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) stole the money.

The EFCC counsel also submitted: “an application of this nature is designed to prevent the dissipation of funds/property that is suspected to be proceeds of crime found in possession of any person without necessarily convicting the suspect in whose custody the property is found.’’

The EFCC in affidavit deposed to by one of its investigators, Musbahu Yahaya Abubakar, stated that it received intelligence alleging a monumental fraud in NIMASA and that part of the proceeds of the said fraud was transferred to the respondent.
Abubakar also averred that the respondent allegedly conspired with some employees of NIMASA, Macfoy Irene, and Chukwu Emeka Emmanuel to defraud the agency.

He further alleged that the said Irene used her position as an Assistant Director and Head of Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme to facilitate the fraudulent transfer of £1,074,600 from NIMASA’s Zenith Bank (UK) Account to an offshore account belonging to Swiss Bulk carriers S.A under the false pretenses of training 54 Nautical Science and Marine Engineering Students on Sea Training on March 16, 2013.

After listening to the lawyer, the judge granted the application as prayed.

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