EFCC recovers over N134bn in 10 months

. Over N30bn recovered from suspended AGF, Ahmed Idris

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday, said has recovered about N134.338 billion in the first 10 months of this year.

The Chairman of the Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, who disclosed this during a press briefing at the Presidential Villa, said the funds were part of the monetary and asset recoveries, recorded between January 1 and October.

He said there were also other recovered monetary assets in foreign currencies including over $121.769 million; £21,020; €156,925; ¥21,350; and CFA300,000 among others.

Bawa also informed that the EFCC has recovered more than N30 billion from the suspended Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF), Idris Ahmed.

The Commission is currently prosecuting the suspended AGF over alleged N109 billion frauds.

Other non-cash assets recovered during the period in review include over 4,136 metric tonnes of petroleum products, 65 real estates, 52 automobiles, 15 plots of land and many others.

“In November, we recovered $354 million for NUPRC in terms of royalty that one of the companies had not paid, but our investigation led to that recovery,” he added.

He reiterated that the recoveries were not cases under investigation, but are direct forfeited assets in 2022.

Bawa also informed that the Commission has delivered a total of N120 billion, $29 million, €6.6 million, and £1.1 million into the Federal Government’s coffers.

He continued:  “the President had sanctioned that all the proceeds should be utilised for the provision of critical infrastructure in the country.

“The funds are going to be used for the completion of the Abuja -Kano expressway, Completion of 2nd Niger Bridge, and Lagos Ibadan Expressway among other funds that the FG is gathering.

“That means you are now seeing value for the recoveries, which is an unprecedented thing that has not happened in the country whereby funds that have been forfeited are now used for critical infrastructures.”

By the time the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCMUL) becomes fully operational, it will be difficult for money to be laundered in Nigeria.

Bawa further said the EFCC has not backed down on the N7.1 billion fraud case against the former Governor of Abia State and Chief Whip of the Senate, Orji Uzor Kalu.

He insisted that the former governor has not been discharged, nor acquitted, and as such the Commission was still pursuing the case against him.

Despite the challenges, Bawa revealed that the Commission has recorded tremendous victory in the conviction of criminal suspects during the year compared to the last five years.

As of December 9, 2022, said the EFCC recorded over 3,615 convictions, which is a 62.8% increase over the 2021 record of 2,220 convictions.

Past convictions were 976 in 2020; 1,280 in 2019; 312 in 2018; and 186 in 2017.

He announced that following the nationwide auction of forfeited automobiles, there will also be the disposal of over 150 houses to interested buyers.

He 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 Nigeria.

Bawa added that the EFCC has strategic plans to increase public engagements; improve intelligence-driven investigation, prosecution and asset recovery; enhance institutional and human capacity; improve systems and processes, law enforcement coordination and collaboration in the coming year.

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