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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

EFCC says Nigerian bankers, government officials re-loot recovered Abacha loot

EFCC says Nigerian bankers, government officials re-loot recovered Abacha loot

Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has accused the country’s commercial banks of colluding with government officials to re-loot recovered loot of the late military ruler, Sani Abacha.

In December 2017, the federal government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Switzerland on the return and monitoring of the $322 million Abacha loot.

The proceeds were intended for Conditional Cash Transfer under the Social Investment Programme which began in December 2016, under ex-president Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

READ ALSO: EFCC clarifies ‘unclear’ publication on Beta Edu, others

The looted funds were meant to provide N5,000 monthly stipends to the most vulnerable Nigerians across the country.

However, on Sunday, a spokesperson for the EFCC, Dele Oyewale, in a statement, said that the anti-graft agency opened investigations into other alleged financial malpractices from the ministry; involving the COVID-19 funds and the World Bank-assisted loan coordinated by the Humanitarian Ministry to assist poor Nigerians.

Other fraudulent dealings

The EFCC said, “Discreet investigations by the EFCC have opened other fraudulent dealings involving COVID-19 funds, the World Bank loan, Abacha recovered loot released to the ministry by the federal government to execute its poverty alleviation mandate. Investigations have also linked several interdicted and suspended officials of the ministry to the alleged financial malfeasance.

“It is instructive to stress that the commission’s investigations are not about individuals. The EFCC is investigating a system and intricate web of fraudulent practices. Banks involved in the alleged fraud are being investigated. Managing directors of the indicted banks have made useful statements to investigators digging into the infractions. Those found wanting will be prosecuted accordingly.  Additionally, the EFCC has not cleared anyone allegedly involved in the fraud. Investigations are ongoing and advancing steadily. The public is enjoined to ignore any claim to the contrary.’’

READ ALSO: Judge sends Emefiele to EFCC custody over abuse of office

The commission also revealed that N32.7 billion and $445,000 had been recovered from both past and suspended officials of the humanitarian ministry.

It added that the commission initiated investigations into the affairs of the humanitarian ministry inviting former minister, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, and her successor, Beta Edu, suspended by President Bola Tinubu in January for alleged abuse of office.

Faruk Khalil
Faruk Khalilhttps://nigeriansketch.com/
Khalil Faruk (Deputy Editor-in-Chief), has a Bachelors and Master's degree in Political Science and has worked as a reporter, features editor and Deputy Editor-in-Chief respectively in a leading Nigerian daily. He has undergone trainings in journalism, photo journalism and online journalism within and outside Nigeria.

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