Ali Abare, Gombe
The Gombe Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it has uncovered three properties alleged to have been built from crime as part of money diverted from the 2015 campaign funds.
Newly posted zonal controller for the commission, Johnson Babalola, disclosed this to journalists, in Gombe, on Thursday.
Babalola said investigations by the commission revealed that some suspects involved in the 2015 PDP campaign funds scam used part of the proceeds to build hotel, filling station and residential building.
Though he could not specify the exact location of the buildings, the EFCC zonal controller, however, said the properties were located within the zone comprising of Borno, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe states.
Babalola also explained that already the commission has marked the properties and has commenced proceeding for its forfeiture to the Federal Government.
He disclosed further that thecommission has finalised arrangements to arraign three other suspects linked to the PDP fund scam before a court, in Jos, on Monday next week.
Commenting on the alleged diversion of relief materials meant for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), in Gombe, allegedly supplied by the Presidential Initiative on North East (PINE), Babalola maintained that three persons have been identified as key suspects.
He added that investigations into the matter revealed levels of culpability against Danlami Arab Rukujei, Executive Secretatary of the Gombe State Emergency Management Agency, Mua’zu Suleiman, Chairman, Gombe Fertiliser Store and Isa Garba, a storekeeper with the GOSEMA.
He said, “Out of the 5,000 bags of cement diverted, the suspects returned 1, 200 bags. Likewise, 500 drums of paint of the 5000 diverted have been recovered. The agency has been able to pin down this crime to the suspects,” he said.
Reviewing the activities of the agency last year, Babalola said the agency received 256 cases out of which 68 were rejected based on issues relating to jurisdiction.
He said while the agency was able to secure 10 convictions out of 26 cases, it also recovered over N266 million. Babalola added that 59 other cases are being reviewed.
The EFCC controller, however, sought the cooperation of the media in the collective fight against corruption, stressing that the agency under the leadership of Ibrahim Magu has nothing to hide.
“We have to make sure that this country does not collapse, that this democracy is not truncated. We must ensure things are done in compliance with the dictates of democracy and rule of law,” he said.