December 1, 2023

Nigeria’s anti-corruption body, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it has recovered a combined sum of N27,184,357,524.52 and $19,084,419.33 from three different money laundering cases.

The agency disclosed that out of the N27.2 billion recovered, N12.7 billion was from one individual.

According to the commission, it is also investigating former governors, ex-ministers, and several government officials across the country.

The Acting EFCC Chairman, Abdukarim Chukkol, who disclosed this in Lagos, during a media interaction with select journalists, said further efforts were being made by the agency to recover more illicit funds.

According to ThisDay, he added that the agency would soon make public details of its ongoing investigations into the activities of some past leaders.

Chukkol, who was represented by the spokesperson for the commission, Dele Oyewale, said the anti-graft agency had received several petitions against former governors, ex-ministers and government officials.

The anti-graft agency is also carrying out ongoing investigations into some monumental procurement fraud involving some officials of the Federal Ministry of Power and the Ministry of Agriculture.

Oyewale said the anti-graft agency had seized several houses in the Federal Capital Territory, Lagos and Cross River states which are proceeds of funds meant for the Mambilla and Zungeru Power projects that were diverted through sundry Bureau de Change operators.

“In three different cases, the commission has recovered N27,184,357,524.52 and $19,084,419.33. While ongoing recovery is being made, the commission’s works are progressing in line with our mandate as prevention initiatives, risk assessments and recovery efforts are being intensified.

“Petitions were received in respect of several public officials, some of them former governors, some former ministers, and some ministry officials, and investigations are ongoing on those petitions; however, details of their involvements and our investigations will soon be made public.

“Also, investigations are ongoing in respect of monumental fraud involving some officials of the Federal Ministry of Power and Agriculture; procurement fraud actually. Funds meant for the Mambilla and Zungeru Power projects are diverted through sundry Bureau de Change operators. For now, several houses purchased with the funds are being recovered. The houses are in Abuja, Lagos and Cross River states,” Oyewale said.

Reminded that some former governors, who are now ministers in the current administration and current members of the National Assembly have allegations of fraud against them, the EFCC boss said investigations were ongoing.

He assured Nigerians that once investigations were concluded, those involved would be persecuted according to the laws of the land irrespective of the office they occupy.

Chukkol explained that the agency was focused more on preventing financial and economic crimes, noting that it was more cost-effective to do so.

“Considering the cost involved in investigating and prosecuting financial crimes and their perpetrators, it is better we prevent them from happening. As a result, EFCC is intensifying its focus on its preventive mandate. We shall be doing more in the area of public enlightenment and more jingles among others,” he said.

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