Monday, August 10, 2015

Buhari orders EFCC to trace funds stolen under Jonathan

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission to compile documents on funds stolen under President Goodluck Jonathan.

The PUNCH reliably learnt on Sunday that the directive was part of efforts to know the exact amount stolen under the Jonathan administration with a view to tracing them to foreign countries.

It was learnt that such documents would be needed by the international community, which had expressed readiness to assist Nigeria to recover the funds.

Buhari, had in a live programme, Good Morning Nigeria, on the Nigerian Television Authority, on July 27, said the international community was willing to assist Nigeria to recover stolen money.

He had said that his administration had started compiling necessary documents that would enable the international community to assist Nigeria recover the funds.

The President had stated, “We are trying to get these documents; we are getting cooperation from the international community. We are going very soon to make sure that those who perpetrated this crime against Nigeria will be faced with facts and be taken to our courts.”

It was gathered that, in a bid to carry out the presidential directive, the two agencies had started analysing petitions written against ministries, agencies and departments with a view to getting the amount stolen and those responsible for it.

An operative of one of the anti-graft agencies, who confided in one of our correspondents, said the managements of the anti-graft agencies had been engrossed in a sectorial analysis of petitions received from the various government agencies.

Investigation revealed that the anti-graft bodies were focusing attention on the top ministries, department and agencies which attracted massive budgetary allocations from the Federal Government under the previous administration.

The source said that the President’s directive was given shortly before his trip to the United States on July 20, 2015.

The directive was said to have triggered a flurry of activities among the anti-graft agencies.

It was further gathered that the Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Larmorde, whose agency is the bigger of the two agencies, called for all the petitions and files against the various government bodies with a view to commencing holistic investigations in line with the government directive.

It was gathered that the files were allocated to the various units of the commission to commence the process of invitation, and interrogation designed to find out how much was missing and the process of prosecution.

It was further gathered that the ICPC on its part had been involved in a discreet investigation of civil servants believed to have acquired a lot of properties in Abuja with stolen funds.

Several political office holders in the previous administration had been quizzed for alleged corruption while many are said to be on the waiting list of the EFCC and the ICPC for interrogation.

The source said, “I think what is happening is not sudden; the President gave an instruction to the EFCC and the ICPC to ensure that they submit how much has been stolen in the various sectors of the economy.

“Since then, the Chairman of the EFCC called for all the files of the various agencies; they are quite many and they were being sifted.

“The ongoing investigation is meant to give the Presidency an idea of what was stolen within the country and in some cases outside.”

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