EFCC receives detailed reports of stolen $400m kept in UAE | Ripples Nigeria
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EFCC receives detailed reports of stolen $400m kept in UAE

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A coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) on Thursday, handed over detailed reports of stolen funds and assets kept in the United Arab Emirate, (UAE) by corrupt Nigerians, to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).

Prof Gbenga Oduntan of Kent Law School, University of Kent, United Kingdom, on behalf of Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA), several civil society groups and foreign technical partners, handed the report over to the EFCC Chairman, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, in Abuja.

Prof Oduntan was the lead researcher that conducted the investigation into the discovery of the loot.

The landmark investigation has stirred national outrage across the country following its public presentation earlier this week.

Speaking during the meeting with Bawa, the Chairman, HEDA Resource Centre, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju, said his group was determined to expose corrupt people where ever they are, adding that fighting noxious funds looted from Nigeria remains one of the focal points of his group.

The illicit proceeds represent some 800 assets out of which 216 are allegedly owned by 13 top Nigerian security officials.

In his remark, Bawa who personally accepted the reports praised the efforts of the civil society groups in assisting anti-graft agencies to fight and subdue corruption.

READ ALSO: EFCC arrests 18 suspected internet fraudsters in Abuja

He said the fight against corruption is not an easy task, or one the EFCC can fight alone.

The EFCC Chairman said the commission will go after those involved in illicit financial flow in line with his commitment to fight corruption. He said it is part of the EFCC mandate to retrieve the proceeds of crime across national jurisdiction.

Bawa said ‘We have a lot of bilateral and international relations and agreements that bring us together with our partner law enforcement agencies in countries under consideration. It is one of our duties to ensure the prevention of the property being taken at all and to ensure they are not taken out of the country. They cannot take the funds out of the country without collaborators”, adding that states and institutions should ensure a honest and transparent procurement procedure.

He said the EFCC values collaboration with civil society groups set up to promote public good, and counselled NGOs not to allow themselves to be used by criminals seeking the primitive accumulation of wealth.

On the request that bankers should declare their assets Bawa said the decision was in good fate and in line with section 7 which empowers the EFCC to probe people suspected to be living beyond their means.

He further clarified the position of EFCC to the effect that the commission is not forcing any banker to declare but rather alert the bankers to the effect that from June 1, 2021, the Commission will, in the course of investigations, demand the assets declaration of Bankers in accordance with the Bankers Assets Declaration Act through the Secretary to Government of the Federation Office.

At the meeting were top EFCC officials, leaders of civil society organisations from among others, the Civil Society Network Against Corruption, (CSNAC), Journalists for Democratic Rights, JODER, Dr Abdulkareem Tukur and Social and Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP)

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