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Bank indicts EFCC over N2trn seized assets

By on July 17, 2013

More facts emerged, yesterday, that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, may have allegedly tampered with the N2 trillion seized assets and money recovered by the commission.

The commission at the moment operates six different accounts, ranging from Naira to Euro and Pound Sterling.

The development came on the heels of a public hearing of the House of Representatives on Narcotics, Drugs and Financial Crimes which investigated the status of assets, tangible and intangible, recovered or seized by the EFCC since its inception till date.

The committee had invited Access Bank Plc, which is the custodian of the commission’s accounts for questioning on the current account status of EFCC.

Testifying before the committee yesterday, Access Bank  General Manager/Chief Inspector, Mr. Olayinka Tiamulu, who represented the Managing Director of the Bank, said the EFCC maintained six different accounts.

According to him, the Euro and Dollars accounts have nil balances at present.

Categorizing the accounts, Olayinka said they had different names which included EFCC Regular Accounts, Fixed Deposit Accounts, EFCC Trust Accounts (Dollar) and EFCC Recovery Accounts.

Giving details of the credit balances in the accounts, Tiamulu said  the EFCC Regular Accounts had N73, 967,997,57; Fixed Deposit Account, N3,210,535,866,59; EFCC Trust Account, N4,962,869,90; EFCC Recovery Account had 290, 795,2.

He said while EFCC Trust was Dollar Account, EFCC Recovery Accounts was in Naira, adding that the Fixed Deposit was interest rated.

He could not, however, confirm the last time monies were withdrawn from the accounts but stated that they were operation accounts.

Also speaking at the hearing, managing Director of Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, Mr. Chike Obi, said there was no seized property whatsoever by the EFCC, that was in its possession as widely speculated.

Obi, however, revealed that the case of hectares of landed property in Lagos, which was confiscated from former Oceanic Bank Managing Director, Mrs. Cecilia Ibru, was 101 hectares as against the speculated 1001 hectares, stressing that it was paid for by AMCON and not EFCC recoveries.

He further explained that the property had  been reduced from 101 hectares to 36 hectares due to encroachment by Lagos State government and some communities who used it for infrastructure purposes.

Also testifying at the hearing, the Commandant-General of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, Dr. Ade Abolurin, said the organization had made seizures of tangible and intangible assets from cities across the country which were transferred to EFCC.

According to him, some of the seized assets handed over to the EFCC, included Raphina Hotel in Abuja, and a property at 33 Wushishi Crescent, Utako Abuja.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, which was represented by one of its Directors, Mr. Nkwonta Chris, could not make its presentation due to the absence of the governor, Alhaji Sanuisi Lamido Sanusi.

Similarly, other organizations, which failed to bring their Managing Directors were advised to do so before they could be giving audience.

Chairman of the Committee, Jagaba Adams Jagaba, who said that the appearance of managing directors before the committee was very necessary to avoid irregularities in answers, also stressed the importance of the assignment his committee had set out to do, stressing that there were sanctions awaiting those who might ignore the invitation.

Meanwhile, the hearing was adjourned indefinitely to enable members of the committee partake in the ongoing constitutional amendments voting on the floor of the House of Representatives.