… EFCC vows tougher measures on corruption
The Lagos Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday, said it secured 257 convictions, including those involving politically exposed persons, across different courts in the state between May 2019 and early June 2020.
The Commission also recovered the total of N14, 099,952,688.22, $5,723,042 and €31,500 with the period, as well as secured the forfeiture of 32 properties from the 61 recovered.
Zonal Head of the Lagos Office, Muhammed Rabo, revealed this in statement made to the public by the Zone’s Head of Public Affairs, Ayo Oyewole.
“Also, from May 2019 till date, the Zone has arrested 1,444 suspects, filed 585 cases in various courts and arraigned over 300 persons, including Ismaila Mustapha, also known as Mompha, and his alleged conspirator, Hamza Khoudeih, before a Federal High Court in Lagos allegedly for various criminal offences.
“We also have several ongoing high profile cases before the Federal High Courts, Ikoyi and the State High Court, Ikeja, Lagos, “Rabo said.
He stated the tenacity of the acting Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu, to continue to fight the corrupt to standstill in the society, while also leaving no stone unturned in the battle defeat corruption through the instrumentality of the law.
The Zone, he said, would not relax its “independently launched intensive actions against internet fraudsters, popularly known as Yahoo Yahoo, which began in 2019 before the collaborative operation with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, FBI, tagged ‘Operation Rewired’ in 2019.’”
“In fact, we are prepared, more than ever before, for a more robust collaboration with the FBI this year.
“The collaboration last year led to the arrest of many fraudsters in different parts of the state, some of whom are being prosecuted in courts already,” Rabo declared.
The Lagos Zonal Head cautioned perpetrators of computer-related fraud to desist, adding that “the EFCC has not gone to sleep; rather, it has even re-strategized, especially in the face of the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19.”
He also criticized the activities of impersonators and warned them to cease.
Rabo said: “Let me state, without any equivocation, that anyone caught in the act should be ready to face the consequences of his or her action before the court of competent jurisdiction.”
Rabo also specified that the Commission was “not lagging behind” in Corporate Social Responsibility, (CSR).
“Recently, the Commission handed-over to the Lagos State government a property forfeited by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, to the Federal Government for use as an isolation centre for COVID-19 patients.”
According to him, the six flats of three-bedrooms and a boys’ quarter had been forfeited to the Federal Government, following an order of a Federal High Court in Lagos in 2017.
“This gesture is part of the Commission’s efforts in discharging its own social responsibility towards the fight against the spread of Corona virus, “he said.
Rabo also guaranteed stakeholders of the EFCC’s readiness for partnership against economic and financial crimes in the state.
Specifically, he described the existing collaboration with the Navy as rewarding, saying it had yielded in the interrogation of 195 suspects, 21 vessels and two fibre boats that were taken over from Navy Ship Beecroft within the period under review.
According to him, “In the year under review, the Lagos Zone remains committed to changing the narrative and stemming the spate of criminal activities in the extractive industry.
“We have successfully secured 45 convictions, forfeiture of the sums of N3.5million cash, five vessels, two fibre boats, 1630 metric tons of AGO, 145000 litres of AGO and 383.5 metric tons of LPFO to the Federal Government.
“So, we always welcome collaborations to effectively tackle the menace.”
The Lagos Zonal Head also stressed that the Zone was autonomous.
“We have never been teleguided in anyway. We have never allowed any unnecessary intervention in the discharge of our responsibilities,” he said.