EFCC recovers over N1billion from ex-ministers, INEC officials

– Over N1billion cash illegally deployed in the 2015
election has been refunded to the coffers of the
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
– The cash reportedly came from some former
ministers, Independent National Electoral Commission
(INEC) officials, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders
and coordinators of some election observer groups
– More than N2billion has been frozen in many
accounts by the EFCC before now
A report by The Nation has detailed how over N1billion has
been refunded back to the coffers of the EFCC by former
public officials who have been indicted by the anti-graft
agency.

EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu
According to the report, the cash is part of the N23.29billion
allegedly pumped into the failed bid former President
Goodluck Jonathan to return to power in last year’s general
elections.
The funds were said to have emanated from the office of
the former minister of petroleum resources, Mrs Diezani
Alison-Madueke. There are also refund pledges running into
billions of naira, a source squealed.
The refunds came yesterday, June 9, from two former
ministers, three INEC officials and a coordinator of election
observers. Besides, no fewer than 36 INEC officials have
been implicated in the campaign cash fraud.
A source who gave more details under the condition of
anonymity said the EFCC has recovered more than
N1billion cash from those who shared in the bribe.
READ ALSO: REVEALED: Why we didn’t name looters –
Osinbajo
“In all the six geopolitical zones, most of those quizzed
have admitted benefiting in one way or the other from the
cash. Our investigation revealed that there appears to be a
pattern of allocating about N450million to each of the 36
states and FCT.
“Some of the beneficiaries have paid back; others made
pledges and some are still meeting in groups to refund
what was allocated to them.
“So far, we have recovered over N1billion in cash and more
than N2billion frozen in some accounts nationwide. We
have given them deadline and they seem to be willing to
pay back,” the source said.
The source revealed further that:“In continuation of the
ongoing investigation of some INEC officials in Maiduguri
and two former ministers, the Advance Fee Fraud/Extractive
Industries Unit handling the investigation was able to
recover N62,750,000.
“Investigation is ongoing in the matter as other people are
expected to come for questioning. The serving INEC officials
are detained in the EFCC office.”
The report further revealed that the number of serving
INEC officials quizzed by the EFCC on the scandal has risen
to 36.
“So far, we have questioned more than 36 INEC staff but
we are still counting. We are expecting more names from
our zonal offices in Port Harcourt, Enugu, Gombe, Kano
and Lagos.
“At the end of our investigation, we will refer the list of
those indicted to INEC management for appropriate
disciplinary action.
“This is without prejudice to the fact that the law will take its
course. Some of the INEC officials may face trial,” the
source concluded.
READ ALSO: How President Buhari may spend recovered
looted funds
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s former Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air
Marshal Mohammed Umar (rtd) has been arraigned in
court on a 7-count charge of money laundering filed by the
EFCC.
The EFCC recently arraigned Mohammed Umar, on alleged
charges of corruption, even as the former CAS has sought to
settle the issues raised outside the court.
Umar was the Chief of Air Staff in Nigeria between
September 2010 and December 2012 before Air Chief
Marshall Alex Badeh took over.

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