EFCC: Reps Probe $2trn Recovered Looted Funds | Independent Newspapers Limited
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EFCC: Reps Probe $2trn Recovered Looted Funds

Posted: Apr 29, 2016 at 5:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)




The House of Representatives on Thursday unveiled plans to conduct comprehensive investigation into looted public funds and assets estimated at $2 trillion recovered by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from 1999 to date.

The plan to probe the funds was a fallout of the  EFCC’s failure to provide audited report of its accounts to various standing Committees over-sighting its activities, despite receiving annual budgetary allocation from Federal Government’s purse.

Other agencies to be invited by the House Committee on Public Accounts, chaired by Kingsley Chinda (PDP-Rivers) include Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Department of State Services (DSS).

Similarly, the House mandated the Committee on Financial Crimes to investigate whether crime had been committed in the course of the management and disbursement of funds recovered by relevant anti-graft agencies over the past 12 years.

The resolution was passed following the adoption of a motion sponsored by Segun Adekola who informed the House of the recent statement by the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation that over $2 trillion (over N400 trillion at the current rate) looted funds have so far been remitted into the national treasury.

The lawmaker who called for the intervention of the House, explained that carrying out of proper investigation on recovered funds becomes imperative to ascertain the quantum of funds fraudulently siphoned by corrupt government officials.

The lawmaker observed that “the huge amounts of money returned by those who, at various times, entered into plea-bargain with the EFCC” were mismanaged, stressed the need to look into the present government’s assertion that some former officials of the Jonathan’s administration have been returning unspecified sums to the treasury.

He said: “For many years now, successive governments have continued to take possession of billions of dollars of looted public funds returned from various parts of the world, with Switzerland returning a higher percentage of the amounts.

“But there is the persistent confusion as to the exact amount that had been recovered, and what happened to it.

“It is also of concern that successive governments have not been transparent regarding their management or spending of recovered public assets, giving vent to the allegations that some of the recovered funds may have been spent, mismanaged or simply disappeared,” Adekola observed.