EFCC recovers ₦130m looted by Nigeria’s Kwara State govt officials

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recovered another ₦130m allegedly stolen from the coffers of the Kwara State Government in Nigeria.

Oseni Kazeem, the new Ilorin zonal head of the antigraft agency, said this when he met with Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State on Wednesday.

Kazeem said he has received approval from its headquarters to hand over another ₦130m recovered looted funds to the state government.

News Central reports that the EFCC’s Ilorin Zone comprises Kwara, Kogi and Ekiti States.

Speaking at the meeting with the Kwara governor, Kazeem said, “We felt obliged to pay you a visit and identify with your good governance because it’s when there is good governance that the citizens will reap the fruits of their labour. If there is a good government that is bereft of economic and financial crimes that are when the populace will enjoy the democracy we all fought for,” he said, commending the new administration for its commitment to openness.

“We are here to deter people from committing Economic and Financial Crimes in society. We all know that crime is inevitable in human society. It is almost impossible not to see criminal elements when two or three are gathered. But the EFCC is here to fish out the criminal elements and deal with them according to the law. The Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr Umar Muhammed, has directed that we must act according to the provisions of the law and we’ll continue to operate within the ambit of the law.

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“We appreciate your supports so far and we also want more support from the State Government and the entire people. We want the people to come out and give us information that will assist the Commission to know the criminal elements in the society.”

The state government has so far received ₦366,816,691 looted funds from some officials from the previous administration.

Part of the recovered funds earlier returned by the EFCC belonged to the Local Government Areas.

Governor Abdulrazaq commended the activities of the EFCC, saying the anti-graft body has helped to gradually restore some sanity and accountability in public administration in the country.

The governor explained how recovered funds had helped to stabilize the government when he was inaugurated in May 2019 and said the administration would soon receive another tranche of recovered looted funds from the EFCC.

He added that his administration is committed to openness and probity in its own activities to avoid the treatment meted to some former government officials, especially because the new government was a product of a struggle that ousted a system many criticised for its corrupt tendencies.

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The governor said: “EFCC is an institution that must not be allowed to die. It has come to stay and it must remain. National and sub-national governments must give full support that the organisation requires. On our part, we will always give you the support and cooperation you need. Let me also thank you for the activities of your organisation. We have been able to collect from your office hundreds of millions of Naira. We will put it to good use. Your effort has stabilised this government.

“When we came in, we received the Federal Government tax refund of N4.8bn paid to the Kwara State Government. The money came in a few days before our inauguration and EFCC made sure that the fund was not frittered away even though there were vouchers to spend the money. We thank you for that. On our part, we want to run a responsible government and that is why we embrace the idea of social audit which means all contracts we do can be inspected by individuals or civil society organisations and make recommendations to the government. The House of Assembly just concluded its oversight of our projects.

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“We know why people voted us in and we know why they voted out the previous administration. We don’t want to repeat the same mistakes committed by the previous administration. So, we want to run an open government and make sure the right things are done. We’re ready to support you. We know that you have your independence. There is no way our government can influence you because even the President does not interfere in your activities.”

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