EFCC Recovers Over N1bn, Secures 26 Convictions In 10 Months

As a part of the ongoing war against corruption, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has turned its gaze to the South-South geo-political zone, in a bid to unravel serious cases of graft and fraud in the area.

Former state governors from the South-South top the bill of public office holders from the zone who are coming under the investigations
of the anti-graft agency.

Indeed, the EFCC has already recovered over N1.06 billion from corrupt politicians and other social and economic leaders in the South-South zone within the first 10 months of this year.

Of the amount, N550 million was recovered from politicians in the region, the anti-graft agency disclosed on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The recovered funds include some amounts in US Dollars.

The commission said that it is extending its anti-graft campaign to the immediate past governors from the region to retrieve huge sums of mon­ey which they reportedly stole while they were in office.

These indications were given by the EFCC’s Head in the South-South zone, Ishaq Salihu, who briefed journalists in Port Harcourt on the activities of the agency.

He was silent, however, on the former governors under investigation by the anti-graft agency.
Some of the former governors in the oil-rich Niger Delta region in the immediate past administration are Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom),
Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa), Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), and Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta).

Amaechi is the incumbent Minister of Transport in President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

He added that besides the former governors, the EFCC has started investigating other Politically-Exposed Persons (PEP) in the South-South.

Salihu said: “A lot of Politically-Exposed Persons are under investigation as I speak to you. We are seriously investigating a whole lot of them right now. We have also made recoveries from some of them.

“Out of the over N1 billion we have recovered this year alone, about N550 million came from the politically exposed persons. But because of the ongoing investigation and in order not to jeopardise the process, I will not mention their names”.

He stated that in the last 10 months, the South-South zone of the commission has recorded remarkable success in the fight against corruption, having secured 26 convictions as against the 18 recorded in 2015.

The EFCC zonal head added that, “in the last 10 months, we have upped our ante in the fight against graft in the South-South zone with remarkable success. In 2015, we secured 18 convictions and recovered N420.922 million.

“This year, we have already secured 26 convictions and recovered N1.06 billion and $91,650 for both the Federal Government and individuals. I want to assure you that we will not relent”.

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