Why EFCC intervenes in voters inducement cases, by Ibrahim Magu.
- Commission recovers N437b, $98m, €7m, £294,000, over N11b for FIRS, NNPC, AMCON
Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has said the commission intervened in the general elections to prevent the moneybags from determining the emergence of irresponsible politicians at the polls.
Magu stated this in Kampala, Uganda, at the ongoing Ninth Commonwealth Regional Conference for Heads of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Africa.
In his paper titled: Creative Initiatives In The Fight Against Corruption In Nigeria, Magu noted that the EFCC’s intervention during the Presidential and National Assembly elections of March 9 and the gubernatorial and states Assembly polls on March 23 paid off with positive results.
He disclosed that huge cash in different denominations was seized from politicians and their associates, adding that arrested perpetrators of voters inducement were being prosecuted, just as a councilor from Gombe State has been convicted.
“For the first time in the history of electioneering in Nigeria, operatives of the Commission were deployed to monitor polling stations and collation centers to discourage vote buying.
“The efforts culminated in some cash seizure and arrests. Some of those arrested have been prosecuted and convicted. The presence of EFCC operatives, according to some of the election monitors, was a major deterrence to dubious politicians and their associates,” he stated.
He also disclosed that the agency secured 189 convictions in 2017 and recovered N437 billion, $98 million €7 million and £294,000 respectively.
On inter-agency relationships, Magu said: “The EFCC consistently strives to assist other government agencies in tackling corruption. This quest in 2018 saw the commission assist the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to recover N6.3b in unremitted tax revenues.
“It equally assisted in the recovery of N542m for the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON). The Commission recovered N1.6b; N1.76b and N1.030b for AMCON, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and FIRS from January to April 2019.”
Magu, who is also the outgoing Chairman of the Commonwealth Regional Conference, explained that with the general election slated for the first quarter of 2019, EFCC’s focus of its enforcement activities in 2018 was checking money laundering and illicit financial flows.
He added that further steps were taken to explore the relationships between the EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies (ACAs), especially in the West African sub-region to tighten enforcement and make trans-border cash smuggling difficult.
“Part of these efforts saw me visiting the Higher Authority Against Corruption and Relating Crimes (HALCIA) in the Niger Republic and the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) in Ghana,” he said.