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N30bn recovered from ex-AGF – EFCC

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 yesterday.

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 percent; in 2022, we had COVID, so we went down to 976; last year (2021), which was part of my administration, we recorded an unprecedented 2,220 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.”

The EFCC boss said 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.

Bawa revealed that in November 2022, the anti-graft agency recovered another N201 billion from oil firms defaulting on royalties to the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission and the three per cent statutory payment to the Niger Delta Development Commission. The breakdown includes $354 million, N30 billion and $30 million.

On the welfare of his Staff, the EFCC chairman said President Muhammadu Buhari had since approved a robust severance package for staff of the commission, as a way of enhancing their efficiency. He also said the commission had remitted, at least, N136 billion to the Federal Government account set up to collect and manage proceeds of crime since May 2022.

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