A serving Nigerian governor has allegedly withdrawn N60billion from his state’s coffers during the course of his six years in office, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has announced.
The governor remains unnamed and his stateis partially identified being in the North Central of the country.
In the latest edition of its in-house magazine named “EFCC Alert”, the agency’s czar, Abdulrasheed Bawa, was quoted as saying that Nigerians would soon hear more, about the developing sleaze story.
Bawa’s interview, originally given to TVC, was published under the “Setting the records straight” column of the monthly e-magazine.
He said, “Very soon, Nigerians are going to see some of the things that we are doing. I can tell you for free that the new Department of Intelligence that we have created is working wonders. They have come up with a lot of intelligence.
“In one of them, a governor in a North-Central state within the last six years (one individual) has withdrawn over N60 billion in cash.
“We are looking at all of that, and I assure you that at the end of all of our investigations, Nigerians are going to be briefed of what we are doing behind the scene on cybercrime, politically-exposed persons, as well as engaging government agencies to ensure that we have better processes and procedures on how to do government business.
“We are not setting out to be engaging with people on the pages of newspapers or press conferences. We are working hard trying to see what we can do behind the scenes [to eradicate corruption].”
Bawa also disclosed that contrary to widely-held opinion that alleged corruption cases against former governors, are marooned, they, according to him, are being actively-pursued and investigation reports would be out soon.
“I can assure you that we are working [on them]. We don’t want to talk about matters that are under investigation. Yes, we invited a former governor [Lucky Igbinedion] for interrogation. He was with us for two days and he has been released; investigation is ongoing, but we are being careful and cautious, so we won’t be accused of engaging in a media trial,” he said.
On the celebrated conviction of the former boss of the federally-controlled Pension Scheme, Abdulrasheed Maina and his son, Faisal, the anti-graft agency leadership says its focus is now on banks, deemed complicit in the saga.
Bawa was quoted saying, “We are going to implement the pronouncement [of the Court] to the letter. The banks are complicit and there are some issues raised there and we are looking at that already. Anything that has to do with judgement of the Court has to be complied with in total. And so, the banks are involved, so we are going to go after them as well.
“We are very happy that we secured the conviction. And of course the restitution to the government. We still have another case that is ongoing. We also have civil forfeiture cases on some of these properties. So if you look at the big picture, I think we are good to go.
“The issue of pension fraud is something that is mind-boggling and we are looking at that. We recently held a sensitisation programme titled, “Eradication of Pension Fraud in Nigeria”. So we are working to ensure that we have sanity within the system.”
Meanwhile, the Human Rights Writers Association, HURIWA, has called on the EFCC chief to name the culpable governor and resist the temptation to be a tool in the hands of the northern oligarchy.