From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has so far recovered over N30 billion from the corruption activities surrounding the suspended Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Idris Ahmed.
The Chairman of the Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated this while appearing on the 62nd Ministerial Media Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday.
Idris is currently being prosecuted by the Commission over alleged N109 billion fraud.
Giving highlights of the achievements of the anti-graft body from January to December 2022, Bawa disclosed other recoveries to include N134,33,759,574.25, $121,769,076.30, £21,020.00, €156,925.00, ¥21,350.00, CFA300,000.00 among others.
In order to further demonstrate the administration’s commitment to its anti-corruption effort, he also disclosed that throughout the period, 3,615 convictions had been recorded.
He said: “In the first full year of the current administration, the EFCC recorded only 195 convictions, that was 2016, in 2017, EFCC recorded 186, we went down; in 2018 we recorded 312 convictions, in 2019, we recorded 1280 convictions, it went up with over 312 per cent; in 2022, we had COVID so we went down to 976, last year (2021) which was part of my administration, we recorded an unprecedented 2220 convictions and this year, even though it has not ended, we have so far recorded 3615 convictions, unprecedented.
“The figures showing convictions that the EFCC has secured this year alone, are more than the convictions the Commission has recorded from inception up to 2020. This is so because of the effort we have put in, the support the government is giving us and also the good working relationship that we have with the Judiciary as well as so many things that we have been doing and the government has been backing us to do so as an institution. That is why you can see the success, this is where we are now and it is going to get better.”
According to the EFCC boss, approximately 150 homes across the country would be sold to potential buyers after the statewide auction of forfeited cars.
He further disclosed that between January and October this year, the EFCC recovered over N134 billion as well as $121 million and 15 plots of land for the country from criminals.
“In terms of monetary recoveries for the year under review, from January 1st to October 31st 2022, we recovered N134, 337, 759, 574.25. We have equally recovered $121 million as well as different amounts of Pound Sterling, Euros, Japanese Yen, etc.
“For the non-cash assets, these are some of the recoveries that we have made; 52 automobiles, electronics, motorcycles, clothing and real estate. These are forfeited assets not cases that are under investigation,” he said.
On the welfare of his Staff, the EFCC Chairman said President Buhari had since approved a robust severance package for Staff of the Commission, as a way of enhancing their efficiency.
“About issues of temptation, we thank God for President Muhammadu Buhari, one of the first things that he did when I came on board was to approve for us a very robust severance package and everybody is happy about it in the EFCC, everybody is looking towards retirement. So, we are secure in that regard.
“And for those that yield to the temptations they face, we are dealing with them one at a time, as soon as we get the information and we investigate. Those we found wanting have been punished, some have been dismissed, some demoted and so on. S for the risks we face, we are very prayerful and God will continue to protect us,” he added.
Bawa assured that by the time the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCMUL) becomes fully operational, it will be difficult for money to be laundered in the country.