AS a measure of its anti-graft crusade, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has secured 273 convictions in the last 32 months and recovered $925,000 about N200 million for the government, according to Vanguard investigations. The commission secured 117 convictions in 2013 and 126 last year.
Since January this year, the figure so far is 30 and 12 of these were secured after the May 29 hand-over of power to President Muhammadu Buhari. The N200 million is not part of the money recovered for private individuals.
However, most of the convictions were low profile cases or ‘petty thieves’ as those involving a host of former governors, ministers and lawmakers are still pending. The bulk of the recovered funds came from money laundering and false declaration of funds.
About half of the sum ($511,225) was recovered from one Kutumisana Mbuta Blaise, from the Democratic Republic of Congo, who was convicted recently by Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Lagos, for money laundering.
Blaise was arraigned by the EFCC, on one court charge of money laundering sequel to his arrest at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos for being in possession of $511,225 cash that he failed to declare to officers and men of the Nigerian Customs Service as required by the provisions of Section 2(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended by Act No. 1 of 2012).
He had pleaded not guilty upon arraignment but after prosecution by the EFCC, Justice Buba found him guilty as charged and ruled that the convict should forfeit the entire sum to the Federal Government of Nigeria in line with provisions of the Money Laundering Act.
Mr. Aminu Sule Lamido, son of immediate past governor of Jigawa State, Malam Sule Lamido, was on July 12, 2013 made by the court to forfeit 25 per cent of the E10,000 he did not declare during a trip out of the country.
Other recoveries include: Soufiyano Issa, June 5, 2014, forfeited 50 per cent of undeclared $132,000 to the Federal Government; Akinnoye Abiola Oluwafunke ($51,205, money laundering); Fatai Apampa Adesina ($140,000, money laundering) and Abdulrasheed Ibrahim (25 per cent of $188,858, undeclared funds among others.