EFCC’s inability to identify owner of $50m a national disgrace – Osoba

by Azeez Adeniyi

Former Governor of Ogun State, Olusegun Osoba has said the inability of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to identify the owner of $50m recovered from an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos was a disgrace.

Osoba while speaking on the issue wondered why the whistleblower did not inform the EFCC about the identify of the owner of the funds.

He said, “The whole thing is a total disgrace of the highest order and there’s a total display of sordid incompetence. A whistleblower should have told them the owner of what he’s blowing the whistle on. EFCC too should have taken the trouble to monitor the place and catch whoever owns it red-handed. I say it is a disgrace because a body claims to have recovered a huge sum of money and within three hours, they touted four names as the owners.

“It was first Muazu. Muazu denied and said he was not the owner and in any case, Muazu is not in the country. They now went on to Esther, and Esther denied. Then, they went to Anenih’s daughter and that one too denied. Then, then said it was Amaechi and Wike now came out of the blues to say it is Rivers’ money. I cannot believe that a serious body would run itself into such a situation, where its credibility is being questioned. I am really not impressed at all.

“EFCC has made the mistake of confirming that the internet bloggers are their agents because all these names were being touted, not by major newspapers but internet bloggers, who are not themselves in any way professional. EFCC has to go and search itself, clear its name and stop this trial by the media.”

He added that the N250m discovered by the agency in a Lagos market was not a big deal because Nigeria is still largely a cash society.

“I say this because of the recent happenings. For instance, up till now, we don’t know the owner of the N49 million found in Kaduna. Did the money fall from heaven like manna? You went to a market and you said you found N250 million and so what? Are we not a cash society? Do we politicians not throw money around and pay cash to our agents during campaigns? Does that turn us into money launderers? During elections we pay our agents cash. We don’t send money to them by bank transfer or cheques. Nigeria is still largely a cash society. It is not a big deal at all. There’s no law that says it’s a crime to keep cash in your house.

“To compound it all, two major agencies of government – NIA and EFCC – started to wash their linen in the public, giving the impression of lack of cooperation. NIA now lays claim to the money and we are yet to have the reaction of EFCC. It is a disgrace to our country that two sister agencies are now working against each other with inadequate cooperation. I feel ashamed as a journalist that the information coming from our agencies is through the bloggers.”

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