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Recovered loots: Reps, EFCC differ on asset reports

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The House of Representatives ad hoc Committee on assessment and status of all recovered loots, movable and immovable assets from 2002 to 2020 on Wednesday sharply disagreed with the chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over loopholes discovered in the reports submitted by the commission which seems to be at variance with that of the Nigerian Navy.

The Committee chaired by Mr. Adejoro Adeogun (APC, Ondo) raised concern over the discrepancies noticed in the documents submitted by the Nigerian Navy which showed that 48 vessels and 12 baggages were handed over to the EFCC, whereas only 36 vessels and 1 baggage out of the number reflected in the documents EFCC submitted to the committee.

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Earlier, the Committee engaged the Nigerian Navy representative, Mr. Abraham Adaji who disclosed they handed over 48 vessels and 12 baggages to the EFCC according to available records.

The EFCC boss was asked to clarify on a N3million transfer made to an entity which could not be accounted for as well.

In his response, Mr. Abdulraheed Bawa said “I am barely 100 days old in office therefore I can not respond to what I know nothing about”, he insisted.

On the other hand, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) was also tackled for claiming not to have knowledge or hint of monies debited from its recovery loots account.

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Mohammed Wudil (APC, Kano) and Edun Olarewanjo (APC, Ogun) berated the ICPC boss, Mr. Bolaji Owasanoye for claiming ignorance of debits made from the recovery account.

According to Mohammed Wudil, “you must ensure monies recovered and kept in your custody are monitored”.

In his reaction, Mr. Owasanoye noted that, “the system is not efficient because monies debited from our accounts are without my knowledge. When monies are recovered there are being deposited and the federal government only has access to make withdrawal”.

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He also revealed that since inception the sum of N7 billion and some fractions have passed through the recovery account accumulatively, while N5 billion has been taken by the federal government leaving a balance of N2.1 billion awaiting approval of final forfeiture.

“This amount is not for government to take from. We have the power to return money to victims”, he said.

Meanwhile, the ICPC chairman commended the investigative panel for doing a thorough job.

“What you are doing is the right step in the right direction. It would put government on their toes. However, cynicism and suspicion should be removed”.

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