The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has disclosed that the agency has recovered no fewer than $153 million and 80 choice property valued at $80 million across the country among others from former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
The anti-graft agency said that the property seized from the embattled minister who had relocated permanently to United Kingdom since leaving office in 2015 has been handed over to the Federal Government.
EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, said that aside from the money recovered and property seized, the agency was still on Allison-Madueke’s trail over other corruption allegations, including the $115 million Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) bribery case involving her office during her stint as the minister.
Briefing journalists yesterday in Abuja, the anti-graft agency boss noted that efforts are being intensified to secure conviction of the embattled minister, adding that all options would be explored in ensuring she pay for her crime through the ambit of the laws.
“There are several cases surrounding Diezani’s case. I was part of that investigation, and we have done quite a lot. In one of the cases, we recovered $153 million; we have secured the final forfeiture of over 80 property in Nigeria valued at about $80 million. We have done quite a bit on that.
“The other cases as it relates to the $115 million INEC bribery, is also ongoing across the federation. We are looking forward to the time we will, maybe, have her in the country, and, of course, review things and see what will happen going forward. The case has certainly not been abandoned,’’ he said.
Furthermore, Bawa said that the agency under his leadership would not succumb to whims and caprices of politics and other powers that be, adding that his loyalty remains with Nigerians who are daily affected by effect of large scale corruption across the country.
According to him, I am ready to relinquish my position if anyone brought pressure on me to do what is not legal in the discharge of my duties.
“I am not going to pay allegiance to individuals in the government. I rose through the ranks. The only job I know after graduation is the EFCC, which I joined in 2004. I rose through the ranks from an ordinary team member, to the first EFCC team leader from the regular staff of the EFCC.
“I became a sectional head, became the zonal head in Ibadan, zonal head in Port Harcourt, and zonal head in Lagos. Lagos is the biggest operational hub of the EFCC with over 600 personnel. Port Harcourt is next to it in terms of complexity and staff strength. I happen to be the first EFCC regular staff to head three different zones before my appointment as the chairman.
“The records are there. And it is a challenge I have taken upon myself to do without fear or favour. That is the truth. If anybody is coming to ask me to do something that is contrary to my conscience or what the EFCC is set out to achieve, I’m going to resign,” Bawa said.