From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
With several hundreds of seized vehicles rotting away at dumpsites of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the House of Representatives is set to probe how the anti-graft agency manages seized movable assets in its offices in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt.
The House in April mandated its Committee on Public Accounts to carry out a comprehensive investigation into looted public funds and assets recovered from 1999 till date, estimated at $2 trillion.
Chairman, House Committee on Financial Crimes, Kayode Oladele who also revealed that a ship confiscated by the EFCC in Port Harcourt was slowly sinking, however, argued that the EFCC had little or no blame for the state of the dumpsites as it has no powers to dispose off abandoned cars.
Rather, he blamed owners of the confiscated vehicles, many of whom have gone underground, with some others resorting to delay tactics in the courts, for the congested state of the anti-corruption agency’s dumpsites.
“My Committee is planning to have an oversight visit to the dumpsites. What you see in Abuja that you’re talking about is child’s play compared with what they have in Lagos.
“As a matter of fact, what you have in Abuja is like a quarter of the dumpsite in Lagos. Another very big dumpsite is located in Port Harcourt. As a matter of fact, there’s a ship there that is sinking already, because it has been in one point for a long time. It’s a seized ship from an accused person.
“So, we want to visit these areas and without any attempt to pre-empt what we want to do, we have some plans to decongest these sites,” he stated.
Speaking on the long term solution to the challenge, Oladele expressed hope that President Muhammadu Buhari would adopt the idea of establishing specialised courts where corruption cases could be handled.
“I think when we have these courts, it might go a long way to quickly expedite action. I hope the President would approve that. I know there’s recommendation for that”, he noted.
On the issue of how much stolen money the EFCC has recovered under the current administration, the lawmaker disclosed that the figure given his committee by chairman of the agency, Ibrahim Magu is $3 billion.
He expressed the hope that President Muhammadu Buhari would further explain how much has been recovered in fulfillment of his promise to do so.