The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Lagos Zonal Office on Thursday, June 11 said it secured 257 convictions, including those involving politically exposed persons, across various courts in the state between May 2019 and early June, 2020.

The Commission said it also recovered the sums of N14, 099,952,688.22, $5, 723, 042 and €31,500 within the period, as well as secured the forfeiture of 32 properties out of the 61 recovered.

Zonal Head of the Lagos Office, Muhammed Rabo, stated this in a statement by the Zone’s Head of Public Affairs, Ayo Oyewole.

“Also, from May 2019 till date, the Zone has arrested 1,444 suspects, filed 585 cases in various courts and arraigned over 300 persons, including Ismaila Mustapha, also known as Mompha, and his alleged conspirator, Hamza Khoudeih, before a Federal High Court in Lagos allegedly for various criminal offences.

“We also have several ongoing high profile cases before the Federal High Courts, Ikoyi and the State High Court, Ikeja, Lagos, “Rabo said.

He expressed the resolve of the acting Chairman of Commission, Ibrahim Magu, to continue to tighten the noose around the necks of the corrupt in the society, while also taking the fight to their doorsteps through the instrumentality of the law.

The Zone, he said, would not relax its “independently launched intensive actions against internet fraudsters, popularly known as Yahoo Yahoo, which began in 2019 before the collaborative operation with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, FBI, tagged ‘Operation Rewired’ in 2019.’”
“In fact, we are prepared, more than ever before, for a more robust collaboration with the FBI this year.

“The collaboration last year led to the arrest of many fraudsters in different parts of the state, some of whom are being prosecuted in courts already,” Rabo said.

The Lagos Zonal Head warned perpetrators of computer-related fraud to desist, adding that “the EFCC has not gone to sleep; rather, it has even re-strategized, especially in the face of the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19.”

He decried the activities of impostors and warned them to desist.

Rabo said: “Let me state, without any equivocation, that anyone caught in the act should be ready to face the consequences of his or her action before the court of competent jurisdiction.”

Rabo also stated that the Commission was “not lagging behind” in Corporate Social Responsibility, CSR.

“Recently, the Commission handed-over to the Lagos State government a property forfeited by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, to the Federal Government for use as an isolation centre for COVID-19 patients.”

According to him, the six flats of three-bedrooms and a boys’ quarter had been forfeited to the Federal Government, following an order of a Federal High Court in Lagos in 2017.

“This gesture is part of the Commission’s efforts in discharging its own social responsibility towards the fight against the spread of Corona virus,“ he said.

Rabo also assured stakeholders of the EFCC’s readiness for collaboration against economic and financial crimes in the state.

Specifically, he described the existing collaboration with the Navy as rewarding, saying it had resulted in the investigation of 195 suspects, 21 vessels and two fibre boats that were taken over from Navy Ship Beecroft within the period under review.

According to him, “ In the year under review, the Lagos Zone remains committed to changing the narrative and stemming the spate of criminal activities in the extractive industry.

“We have successfully secured 45 convictions, forfeiture of the sums of N3.5million cash, five vessels, two fibre boats, 1630 metric tons of AGO, 145000 litres of AGO and 383.5 metric tons of LPFO to the Federal Government.

“So, we always welcome collaborations to effectively tackle the menace.”

The Lagos Zonal Head also emphasized that the Zone was independent.

“We have never been teleguided in anyway. We have never allowed any unnecessary intervention in the discharge of our responsibilities,” he said.

The Nation

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