By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.
Ibadan zonal Head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Akanninyene Ezinma has said the zone has recovered N57, 316, 607. 15 kobo as well as presently investigating 123 people over 200 petitions.
Mr Ezinwa who stated this in Ibadan during a chat with newsmen on the activities of the EFCC zonal office in Ibadan since its take off in February this year also disclosed that the commission doesn’t arrest alleged suspects before investigations.
The EFCC zonal head pointed out the Ibadan office was established as an impetus to the anti-corruption vision of the Federal Government and the resolve of the Acting Executive Chairman, Ibrahim Magu to extend the anti-graft war to the grassroots and especially to bring the Commission closer to the people.
“The Ibadan zonal office was established in January 2016 as an impetus to the anti-corruption vision of the Federal Government and the resolve of the Acting Executive Chairman, Ibrahim Magu to extend the anti-graft war to the grassroots and especially to bring the Commission closer to the people.
“We hit the ground running as we commenced operations immediately. Between February and September, we received over 200 petitions out of which 123 are under investigations. Eighty suspects were arrested during the course of investigation,” he said.
Mr Ezinwa added that “out of these cases, eight are already before the courts at various stages of trial”saying,”we have also, within the same period seized six vehicles from suspected fraudsters and recovered N57, 316,607.15k”,
Joined with the head of Public Affairs of the commission, Mr Ayo Oyewole, Deputy zonal head, Mr Kazeem Oseni and Head of Administration and Public Relations, Mrs Oyekemi Kayode-Afe,the EFCC zonal head stressed that the “figures indicate a steady progression” in EFCC activities and a commitment to the Commission’s mandate.
“For the record, Ibadan zone is not limited to official corruption cases. We are at the advanced stages in the investigation of some Advance Free Fraud cases and other forms of infractions.”
Speaking further, Mr Ezinma disclosed that the greatest challenge facing EFCC in the zone is “paucity of information” urged members of the public to assist the commission by making information available to the commission, saying, “we need to protect the interest of Nigerians and the future of our children, and the only way to do so is to have information on corrupt people.”
He however debunked the allegation that EFCC arrest suspects before investigations, saying, “we do investigation before we invite or arrest suspects”.
“As a matter of fact, we follow the stages in investigating matters of corrupt practices. First, we receive complaints or information from the public, then we generate additional facts to buttress what we already have. Then, we make arrest to give the suspects the opportunity to state their own side of the story before we proceed on trial before the court of law. No suspect is detained more than 48 hours without a court order. Members of the public may not be privy to our internal working that may lead to speculation or misinformation. But the public should also be aware that in most cases, the suspects fight back in some circumstances”.
By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan.