The EFCC, the whistleblower policy and Ikoyi mansions: A timeline

by Dolapo Adelana

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been in the news lately for all the right reasons.

In the past few months, the anti-graft agency has recovered huge sums of monies across the country. This has been aided by the new whistleblower policy instituted by the Federal Government.

From the discovery of $9.2m in Kaduna to the interception of N49m at the Kaduna Airport, and also to the uncovering of close to $50m at an apartment in Lagos, the commission has been at the top of its game.

Here is a timeline of its activities:

February 09, 2017: The EFCC discovered $9.2 million from the house of former General Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Andrew Yakubu.

February 11, 2017: This time the commission did not discover cash, but they found a $37.5m (N11.75bn) mansion in Banana Island, Lagos allegedly belonging to former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison Madueke.

March 13, 2017: The commission intercepted N49m hidden in five sacks at the Kaduna International Airport.

March 17, 2017: Following the discovery of the cash at the Kaduna airports, some newspapers reported that the agency planted the money to help sway the confirmation hearing of its acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu before the senate. Reacting to the allegation, the commission described it as “ludicrous and mischievious”.

April 08, 2017: The anti-graft agency uncovered N448m in a shop at LEGICO Shopping Plaza, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos. The anti-graft agency stormed the plaza after being informed by a whistleblower.

April 10, 2017: The commission discovered the sum of N250 million at the popular Balogun market in Lagos. The EFCC said the discovery was made following a tip from a whistleblower.

April 11, 2017: The anti-graft agency discovered the sum of N4billion suspected to be proceeds of crime in two accounts. The monies were found in two companies – Katah Property & Investment Limited and Sadiq Air Travel Agency – used to launder the funds.

April 12, 2017: Operatives of the Lagos zone of the Economics and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) discovered huge monies at an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos. The money discovered ran to the tune of $43.4m, £27,800 and N23.2m.

In a statement, the commission said the monies were uncovered following a tip from a whistleblower.

April 13, 2017: After the monies were discovered, there were reports that the apartment where the cash was found belonged to a former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Adamu Mu’azu, an allegation denied by one of his aides.

A sacked Managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Esther Nnamdi-Ogbue was alleged to be the owner of the cash, an allegation she promptly denied.

The Senator representing Lagos West, Solomon Adeola also denied being the owner of the money. His denial followed a report by an online news medium (not YNaija) that he stashed the monies in preparation for his 2019 governorship bid in Ogun.

As the denials were going on, the EFCC approached the Federal High Court in Lagos seeking an injunction for the temporary forfeiture of the money, a request granted by Justice Muslim Hassan.

Late Thursday, in a statement Mu’azu admitted to owning the apartment where the money was discovered but said he had no knowledge of its occupants.

April 14, 2017: As Nigerians wondered who owned the money, former Aviation Minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode alleged that they belonged to Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi. Responding to the allegation, Amaechi described Fani-Kayode’s “Twitter rant” as “incomprehensible nonsense” adding that he needed help.

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