About 800 assets worth $400 million stolen from Nigeria and domiciled in various cities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have been traced to 13 Nigerian security chiefs and public officials.
Of the 800 assets said to have been uncovered by investigators, the 13 security chiefs are discovered to own 216, while the remaining 584 have been traced to Nigerian public officials.
Investigators further revealed that about N17 billion, being stolen assets from Nigeria annually, are laundered in the UAE and the United Kingdom (UK).
These were some of the revelations made at an international conference in Abuja on Tuesday, with the theme; Fixing Financial Flows: A critical Review of UK and UAE Policies, Laws and Practices in Financial and No- Financial Institutions.
The event, organised by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) and other foreign and local development partners, was held at the Sheraton Hotels, Abuja.
The chairman of HEDA, Olanrewaju Suraju, said the illicit financial outflows from Nigeria have continued to hurt the vulnerable poor, fuel violence and constitute threats to moral authority of the Nigerian state.
Suraju said that the UAE and the U.K. have been facing attacks for failing to live up to international obligations in curbing illicit financial flow, mainly perpetrated by politically exposed persons. (The Nation)
■ Asks Senate to confirm him to seal Magu’s ouster
By Jude Johnson
President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Senate to confirm Abdulrasheed Bawa as the substantive Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
What this means is that the suspended and embattled former acting chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, is effectively ousted from the system.
This was disclosed on Tuesday in a statement by Femi Adeaina, that Bawa, 40, is a thorough-bred and EFCC-trained investigator.
Read the full statement…
The new anti-corruption Czar, Abdulrasheed Bawa PRESIDENT BUHARI REQUESTS SENATE TO CONFIRM ABDULRASHEED BAWA AS EFCC BOSS
President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Senate to confirm Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa as substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In a letter to President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, the President said he was acting in accordance with Paragraph 2(3) of Part1, CAP E1 of EFCC Act 2004.
Bawa, 40, is a trained EFCC investigator with vast experience in the investigation and prosecution of Advance Fee Fraud cases, official corruption, bank fraud, money laundering, and other economic crimes.
He has undergone several specialized trainings in different parts of the world, and was one of the pioneer EFCC Cadet Officers in 2005.
Bawa holds a B.Sc degree in Economics, and Masters in International Affairs and Diplomacy.
Femi Adesina Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity) February 16, 2021
Transparency International has released a survey showing that the police, legislature and the judiciary are among the most corrupt institutions in Nigeria.
The TI, in the publication of the 10th edition of the Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Africa, on Thursday, said corruption in African countries was hindering economic, political and social development.
In Nigeria, the organisation partnered Practical Sampling International for the survey, sampling 1,600 people from April 26 to May 10, 2017.
The data showed that the police topped the list of most corrupt institutions in the country at 69 per cent, followed by ‘Members of Parliament’ (60) and local government officials (55).
Others were government officials (54), judges and magistrates (51), business executives (44), presidency (43), non-governmental organisations (40), traditional leaders (35) and religious leaders (20).
The survey indicated that 47 per cent public service users had paid a bribe to the police in the previous 12 months, while 44 per cent had contributed to overall bribery rate in that period.
Others were IDs (38), utilities (34), public schools (32), public clinics and health centres (20).
Asked if the government was doing a good or bad job of fighting corruption, 59 per cent indicated ‘good’, 40 per cent said ‘bad’ and one per cent said ‘don’t know.’
On whether ordinary people could make a difference in the fight against corruption, 54 per cent said ‘yes’, 41 per cent said ‘no’, four per cent said ‘neither yes nor no’, and one per cent did not know or refused to answer.
The survey added that 43 per cent thought corruption increased in the previous 12 months.
TI said, “Corruption is a major barrier to economic growth, good governance and basic freedoms, such as freedom of speech or citizens’ right to hold governments to account. More than this, corruption affects the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities.
“The 10th edition of the Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) – Africa reveals that, while most people in Africa feel corruption increased in their country, a majority also feel optimistic that they, as citizens, can make a difference in the fight against corruption.
“The report also found more than one in four people who accessed public services, such as health care and education, paid a bribe in the previous year. This is equivalent to approximately 130 million citizens in the 35 countries surveyed.”
According to TI, the survey is the largest, most detailed survey of citizens’ views on corruption and their direct experiences of bribery in Africa, incorporating the views of more than 47,000 citizens from 35 countries across Africa.”
In their separate reactions, groups including the Coalition Against Corruption, a Yoruba group, Afenifere, supported the TI, saying the report was a true reflection of Nigeria.
The founder/Chief Executive Officer of CACOL, Debo Adeniran, told one of our correspondents that the outcome of the survey was not surprising.
Adeniran stated that recent events in the judiciary and police had shown that the level of corruption in the country was alarming.
He said, “It is obvious; even from our experience, the police, the customs and the judiciary are the cesspools of procedural corruption in Nigeria. You don’t get anything free out of those institutions. We don’t need Transparency International to tell us.
The CACOL boss criticised the practices of policemen, who popularly declare that bail is free.
He added, “Just this week, the commissioner of police in Lagos says those policemen that take bribes before they grant bail are worse than kidnappers. We also know that they hold people hostage; they go raiding people without evidence that such people raided have committed any offence.
“They get them detained, asking them to call their relatives to bail them and that bail is like a ransom that they take for their hostages.
“When you look at customs, too, you can’t clear any goods, even officially, at the ports without greasing the palms of several customs officials. All the smuggling that has been experienced in Nigeria is with the connivance of these people and several companies are not paying excise duties because some of these customs officials have reached out to them to ask for gratification.”
The Publicity Secretary of Afenifere, Yinka Odumakin, also decried the level of corruption in the country, adding that the report was an accurate reflection of the reality of governance.
Odumakin said, “What that means is that the government in Nigeria is about corruption.
I think the report cannot be faulted because every now and then, we hear of stories of stealing and corruption from all these institutions but the bottom line is that corruption is the defining act of governance in Nigeria at the moment.
“After four years of fighting corruption, we are at number 44. That tells you how endemic and deep-rooted corruption is in Nigeria. It is the foundation and the building block on which everything rests and that is why we have to address it holistically in this country.”
Reacting to the TI report, Deputy Director, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability, Mr Kolawole Oludare, said the report confirmed that the fight against corruption had yet to be won in Nigeria.
He said, “This again confirms that the fight against corruption has yet to be won. This shouldn’t be an indictment though. More work needs to be done by all – government and citizens.”
But in their separate reactions, both chambers of the National Assembly faulted the report.
The House of Representatives dismissed the allegations as lacking details to prove the corruption claim. A member of the ad hoc committee on media and public affairs, Mr Bamidele Salam, who spoke to one of our correspondents on the telephone, argued that the TI report mentioned ‘parliament’ and not ‘National Assembly,’ stressing that state Houses of Assembly could also be referred to as ‘parliament.’
Salam, however, said, “We cannot take issue with TI, they are a respected organisation and they have their own methods and means of assessing institutions and organisations, some of which may not be very applicable to all systems. But I must say that wherever there are issues about corruption and transparency, they provide an opportunity for institutions to self-examine.
“So, if there are specifics that TI is bringing up – specific areas where they believe that there is no transparency or there are corrupt practices, then it will be easier for the parliament to look inwards and see what can be done to improve on its rating in that regard. In the absence of specifics, it will be difficult to just give a blanket judgment or comment about corruption. It is very easy to say that. And the specifics have to be measurable. They have to let us know what particular areas of the operations of the parliament have tendencies of corruption, so that we can then do internal assessment and if need be, cleanse it.”
The Chairman, Senate ad hoc commitee on media and public affairs, Senator Adedayo Adeyeye, said the report of the TI was based on perception.
He said the opinion did not represent the reality on the ground because no scientific investigation was carried out by the body before arriving at its conclusion.
He said, “The TI report was merely the opinion expressed by some people out of all population of over 200 million citizens of this country.
“They did not use any scientific method neither did they carry out any forensic investigation.”
He said the 9th Senate was doing everything possible to change the negative perception of the people towards the parliament.
He insisted that the parliament as an institution was not corrupt and that Nigerians would soon know the importance of parliamentarians through the 9th National Assembly.
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A US-based Nigerian academic, Dr. Farooq Kperogi, has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of ordering the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to withdraw from the alleged N25 billion fraud case involving former Governor of Gombe State, Sen. Danjuma Goje.
Kperogi, a Professor at Kennesaw State University in Georgia, made the accusation in a series of tweets on Saturday morning.
The Herald reported Friday how EFCC withdrew from the nearly eight-year-old case and transferred it to the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).
The withdrawal is coming barely 48-hours after Goje, who is the senator representing Gombe Central, accepted to withdraw from the Senate Presidency race in favour of Sen. Ahmed Lawan, the preferred choice of the presidency and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Kperogi wrote, “I’ve just learned from someone who witnessed Danjuma Goje’s meeting with Buhari in Aso Rock that it was Buhari who PERSONALLY gave orders that Goje’s N25b fraud case be withdrawn.
“It was d condition Goje gave Buhari for supporting Ahmed Lawan for senate Pres. I swear by the Holy Qur’an that this was what actually happened.
“Buhari is himself a fraudster and has always been, so this didn’t come to me as a surprise. I just pity the hordes of headless idiots who still think this old, duplicitous rogue embodies “integrity.””
Below are his Tweets:
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The main opposition party in the country, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has called on President Buhari to immediately order for investigation into the missing N14 trillion before 29th May, which is date of inauguration for the second term in office. The party urged Buhari to do this today in a press statement. Below is the press statement as it was given by the party today.
PDP also challenges Prof. Itse Sagay to compile list of those who are behind this missing huge amount of money in the country. This is obviously a mock of previous attempt to name and shame suspected corrupt people, who were allegedly mostly the names of the members of the opposition party.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) charges President Muhammadu Buhari to, within 14 days, account for the humongous corruption and treasury looting, under his watch, amounting to over N14 trillion, before the May 29 expiration date of the disastrous All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration.
The PDP insists that President Buhari must show his integrity by opening up his tenure for investigation, the same way his Presidency is demanding of other elected officials in the legislature and state governments across the country.
The party charges the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay, to help the nation by advising President Buhari to present his stewardship for investigation for alleged corruption, instead of his (Sagay) unnecessary fixation on court rulings on Rivers State.
The PDP notes that the Buhari-led APC administration is going down in history as the most corrupt administration ever; a stinking sanctuary of treasury thieves that thrives in manipulation, deception and official concealment.
It is totally unpardonable that President Buhari, despite his claimed integrity and zero tolerance for corruption, not only superintended over an administration that reeks and wallows in ocean of corruption but also refused to allow any investigation into earth shaking corruption under his watch.
The PDP therefore demands that the Buhari Presidency should order investigation into the whereabouts of N9 trillion ($25billion) allegedly stolen in his Ministry of Petroleum Resources, through under-hand oil contracts as detailed in the leaked NNPC memo.
The Buhari Presidency should also explain the circumstances surrounding the alleged corruption in the handling of the N2.6 trillion oil subsidy regime, particularly the alleged N58 hidden tax per liter which Nigerians have continued to bear since the fuel price increased from PDP subsidized cost of N87 to presumably unsubsidized cost of N145 as well as the reported stealing of N1.1 trillion worth of crude oil using 18 unregistered companies, allegedly linked to members of the cabal at the Presidency.
The PDP challenges President Buhari to allow an investigation into the alleged looting of over N40 billion Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) funds; the over N45 billion allegedly looted from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS); the alleged siphoning of $322m repatriated funds; the alleged extortion of N1.2 billion through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, as well as the billions stolen under the ‘tradermoni’ project, among others.
Unless Mr. President has something to hide, he should within the next 14 days, allow for an independent inquest into these allegations of corruption .
Kola Ologbondiyan National Publicity Secretary
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NIGERIA’S former Minister of Finance and chair of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Sunday, charged the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other world bodies to be wary of dealing with civil society organisations (CSOs) claiming to be fighting corruption and promoting transparency in the country.
She said a number of the anti-corruption CSOs currently in the country were actually fronts floated by corrupt people in government in order to give those in power corridors a fake clean bill of health on transparency and open government.
Okonjo-Iweala spoke on Sunday in Washington DC, the United States on the theme Fighting Corruption, at the conclusion of the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“From outside, you can’t really do so much. You really need to identify the institutions, the people and those who are willing to work on this reform and support them.
“But you need to ensure you are working with the right CSOs and NGOs. We have a joke in my country that you can have NGI instead of NGO. NGI is non-governmental individuals instead of non-governmental organisations.
“The people you are fighting are also very smart. They are not just sitting back. They also develop their own NGOs to serve as a front for them; people who can certify them that they are very accountable for what they are doing.
“So, you have to be careful. You have to be able to identify those who are the proper people. And we have many NGOs in Nigeria and in the African continent who are fighting really hard that to make the governments accountable. But be very careful not to get bogged down.
“Sometimes people from outside think this is needed to sort out who is who and who is what? Who is telling you the truth and who is making up a story to cover up,” she said.
The former Minister canvassed the strengthening of institutions as well as the e-procurement as a veritable means to fight corruption in Nigeria and other places.
She recalled that with the support of the World Bank and IMF, it took Nigeria 10 years “to build Government Integrated Financial Management System in Nigeria, to get away from cash-based transactions.”
She advised the IMF to identify the real anti-corruption CSOs and support them, adding that these groups had developed tools and frameworks to promote open government and transparency.
“The more of e-procurement we can build institutionally and strengthen the institutions along that line, the more we will be able to fight corruption.
“We really need a systematic plan about fighting corruption. The big story about corruption scandals are the ones people like to read. But actually, fighting corruption and putting the necessary system in place is very uns3xy. It takes time,” she said. (Tribune)