- EFCC has given a thorough breakdown on how recovered looted funds were spent
- The commission was responding to allegations by George Uboh, against its former chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde
- The anti-graft agency disclosed that recoveries amounting to about N3.1billion from Alamieyeseiegha’s forfeited assets was remitted to the federal government
- The commission utilized interest which accrued on recovered funds amounting to N183, 124,185.94 when it had financial constraints in 2011
Following questions by Nigerians about the recovered loot, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has given a thorough breakdown on what the commission did with recovered looted funds.
In a publication entitled “What EFCC did with recovered loot”, published on Friday, July 22, the anti-graft agency said it wanted to put the records straight.
The commission gave a point-by-point response to the allegations by George Uboh under the administration of Ibrahim Lamorde, the former EFCC chairman.
Uboh alleged that Lamorde in March 2013, in a bid to conceal a fraud of N779, 155,004:62 being part of Balogun’s forfeited funds, falsified documents and fraudulently stated the total of 13 bank balances as N2, 258,100,576.98 instead of N3, 037,255,521.60.
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In response the EFCC said: “A total of 15 Spring Bank accounts were forfeited by Mr. Tafa Balogun. Of this number, four (4) accounts had NIL (zero) balance. The total balance in the remaining 11 accounts as of January 2005 was N1, 226,518,163.09. In addition to this, seven (7) treasury bills/commercial papers in the same bank had a total balance of N1, 017, 178, 719.42. The two added together came up to N2, 243,696,882.51. With the addition of the accrued interest of N14, 403,634.36, the figure came to N2, 258,100,516.87.
“This sum was what was paid to the commission by Spring Bank and eventually remitted to the federal government, through the Federal Ministry of Finance, as against the N3, 037,255,521.60 claimed by the petitioner. It is pertinent to note that, of the four (4) accounts with Nil balance, account no. 01C11201191, erroneously appeared on the court order as a Dollar account. It was a Naira account with no balance. Similarly, on the court order, there was a duplication of the Treasury Bills account of Yeboa Investment Limited (Nos. 01X0520147400 and 01X520147500) These accounts which are Bankers Acceptance ought not to have been captured as current accounts. Both accounts were erroneously listed as having a balance of N254, 279,679.86."
On DSP Alamieyeseiegha’s forfeited assets, the commission said the first part of the recoveries amounting to over N3.7billion was remitted to the Commission’s account by Real Estate Derivatives Limited on 24th July, 2008 while the last payment from the sale of his assets in Nigeria was received in March, 2009.
“On 9th July, 2009, the total sum of N3,128,230,294.83 realized from the assets was remitted to the federal government through the Federal Ministry of Finance in favour of Bayelsa state,” the statement read.
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A summary of the assets recovered from Alamieyeseigha were given as follows:
i. Sale of 5 real estate N1, 982,915,352.22
ii. Recovery from Bond Bank N1, 000,000,000.00
iii. Legacy Bond Bank recoveries N105, 314, 942.61
iv. Proceeds from Chelsea mgt. N40, 000,000.00
v. Proceeds from rent collection N60, 000,000.00
vi. Pesal Nig. Ltd bank account N97, 708, 387.64
Other recoveries are:
vii. USA Treasury cheques $215,000.00
viii. Chelsea Hotel Management $226,000.00
ix. Chelsea Hotel Management €7,000.00
x. Chelsea Hotel Management £2,000.00
xi. Two properties were returned directly to Bayelsa State i.e. Chelsea Hotel and No.2 Marscibit
Street, Ishaku Rabiu Estate, Wuse II Abuja.
The commission said all the other monies listed above have been remitted by the commission to the federal government through the Ministry of Finance in favour of Bayelsa state.
“Apart from the proceeds from rent collection and Pesal Nigeria Limited bank account, all The balance of N157,708,387.64, with the Commission comprise of the sum of N97,708.387.64 forfeited by Pesal Nig Ltd, which was remitted to the Commission by Diamond bank on 12th June, 2015, and the sum of N60m discovered through routine account reconciliation in 2014. This balance will be remitted at the end of the ongoing audit of the Commission’s exhibits and recoveries by a reputable international audit firm. Regarding the offshore assets of DSP Alamieyeseigha, the repatriation of the forfeited foreign assets was handled by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, not EFCC,” the statement added.
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On allegations that Lamorde conspired with some officials in the Nigeria Judicial Institute in September 2008 to divert several cheques and draft valued at N1,678,345,000.00, the commission said at that time, Lamorde was area commander in Ningi, Bauchi state, wondering if he combining his duties as area commander with headship of the EFCC.
The anti-graft agency said: "Nevertheless, it is necessary to explain that some cheques /draft recoveries are usually issued in favour of the federal government. Because such instruments cannot be cleared through any of the EFCC recovery accounts, the commission approached the Federal Ministry of Finance seeking authorization to have an account solely for recoveries made in the name of the Federal Government of Nigeria. This affected the sums listed by the petitioner.
"Following the commission’s request, the Minister of Finance instructed the Accountant General’s Office to open and maintain an account named EFCC Recovery Funds-AGF with account No 0020089341017 in CBN, which signatories are from the Accountant General’s Office, for the commission to warehouse recoveries meant for the Federal Government of Nigeria. This account is not under the control of the commission which is the reason the account was not reported."
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Responding to the allegations that there was illegal withdrawal from the recovery account, the EFCC noted that sometime in 2011, the commission was facing budgetary constraints with adverse consequences for its operations.
The commission approached former President Goodluck Jonathan through the Attorney General of the Federation and received presidential approval to utilize interest which accrued on recovered funds amounting to N183, 124,185.94.
According to the anti-graft agency, it received a total of 75 cases from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), between 2006 and 2013.
“The cases were basically transferred along with exhibits which include financial instruments in form of cheques, drafts, traveler’s cheques, money order and cash in local and foreign currencies which were mostly fake or counterfeit in nature. Not a kobo or Cent or Penny of transferred genuine or fake currencies from the NDLEA was mismanaged by the EFCC,” the statement read.
You can read the full breakdown here.