- The EFCC has explained why it intervened in the recent 2019 general elections
- The anti-graft commission said the move was aimed at checkmating and preventing the moneybags from determining the emergence of leaders
- The EFCC also disclosed that huge cash of different denominations were seized from politicians and their associates
The acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has explained why the anti-graft agency intervened in the recent general election in Nigeria.
Magu said the move was aimed at checkmating and preventing the moneybags from determining the emergence of leaders arising from the polls.
In a paper titled “Creative Initiatives in the Fight against Corruption in Nigeria,” Magu noted that the EFCC’s intervention during the presidential and National Assembly elections on March 9, and the governorship and state assembly elections on March 23 paid off with positive results.
While disclosing that huge cash of different denominations were seized from politicians and their associates, Magu added that arrested perpetrators of the infamous act were already being prosecuted, just as a councillor from Gombe state has been convicted.
“For the first time in the history of electioneering in Nigeria, operatives of the commission were deployed to monitor polling stations and collation centres to discourage vote buying.
“The efforts culminated in some cash seizure and arrests. Some of those arrested have been prosecuted and convicted. The presence of EFCC operatives, according to some of the election monitors, was a major deterrence to dubious politicians and their associates,” he said.
He said that with the general election slated for first quarter of 2019, the focus of the commission’s enforcement activities in 2018 was checking money laundering and illicit financial flows, saying steps were taken to explore the relationships that exist between the EFCC and other ACAs especially in the West African sub-region to tighten the screws and make trans border cash smuggling difficult.
His words: “Strategic deterrence meetings were held with compliance officers and chief executives of deposit money banks and Bureaux De Change to prevail on them not to allow their institutions to be used as platforms for money laundering by politicians.
“International airports and other exit ports in the country were placed under surveillance, leading to huge cash seizures at a few airports.”
Meanwhile, a Special Offences Court in Lagos on Wednesday, April 10, dismissed a N254 million bribery suit filed by the EFCC against Senator Albert Bassey.
Bassey, a former finance commissioner in Akwa Ibom state, currently represents Akwa-Ibom North-East senatorial district.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo in a ruling, dismissed the suit due to lack of jurisdiction and advised the anti-graft commission to file the suit in Akwa-Ibom where the alleged bribe took place.
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