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EFCC caught one governor withdrawing N60 billion cash, but we cannot name him: Bawa

“A governor in a North-Central state within the last six years (one individual) has withdrawn over N60 billion in cash,” the EFCC boss said in the publication.

• December 13, 2021
Yahaya Bello, Abdulrasheed Bawa and Lucky Igbinedion
Yahaya Bello, Abdulrasheed Bawa and Lucky Igbinedion

The chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, has revealed that a serving governor in the North-Central was caught withdrawing over N60 billion in six years from the state’s account.

He did not mention the name of the governor.

Mr Bawa, in the latest edition of the anti-graft agency’s in-house monthly magazine, ‘EFCC Alert’, said he withdrew the funds in cash.

“A governor in a North-Central state within the last six years (one individual) has withdrawn over N60 billion in cash,” the EFCC boss said in the publication.

His comment came amid criticisms that the EFCC has a knack for raiding private premises, media parades of suspects, and not prosecuting high-profile corrupt individuals.

Mr Bawa said EFCC’s newly created Department of Intelligence had made progress in coming up with intelligence that would be disclosed to Nigerians.

“Very soon, Nigerians are going to see some of the things that we are doing. I can tell you for free that the new Department of Intelligence that we have created is working wonders,” he said.

Mr Bawa, however, noted that investigations were ongoing to unravel some cybercrimes and corruption among public officeholders.

“We are looking at all of that, and I assure you that at the end of all of our investigations, Nigerians are going to be briefed of what we are doing behind the scene on cybercrime, politically-exposed persons, as well as engaging government agencies to ensure that we have better processes and procedures on how to do government business,” said the EFCC boss. “We are not setting out to be engaging with people on the pages of newspapers or press conferences. We are working hard trying to see what we can do behind the scenes [to eradicate corruption].”

On allegations that EFCC delays prosecutions of high-level officials indicted for financial crimes, Mr Bawa stressed that investigations were still ongoing on such cases.

“I can assure you that we are working [on them]. We don’t want to talk about matters that are under investigation. Yes, we invited a former governor (Lucky Igbinedion) for interrogation,” he stated. “He was with us for two days, and he has been released; the investigation is ongoing, but we are being careful and cautious, so we won’t be accused of engaging in a media trial.”

Mr Igbinedion, Edo ex-governor, was invited for questioning by the anti-graft agency for diverting N.1.6 billion belonging to the state.

Meanwhile, the agency recently announced it recovered N19.3 billion Kogi salary bailout funds from a fixed account in Sterling Bank.

The funds in the account 0073572696 with the name Kogi State Salary Bail Out Account were meant to pay salaries in the state and were allegedly not used for its purpose. Governor Yahaya Bello had repeatedly denied the claim.

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