The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, yesterday said the agency recovered over N738.9 billion (equivalent to over $2.9 billion) in two years.
He said the cash included $43 million recovered from a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Deziani Alison-Madueke.
The figures are in a 10-page paper Magu delivered at the ongoing 7th Session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption holding in Vienna, Austria.
The paper, titled “International Cooperation in Relation to Tecnical Assistance: The Nigerian Experience”, gave a detailed account of efforts by the Commission at tracing and recovering all stolen treasures from the country’s coffers.
The statement said: “Magu who was a panelist at the Implementation Review Group attended by over 100 delegates, detailed the Nigerian efforts in asset recovery, including the progress made in the specific cases related to Abacha loot, Malabu Oil, Diezani & Associates and the arms procurement scandal. These efforts, he said cut across Switzerland, USA, UK, UAE, Jersey Island and Panama.
“The EFCC monetary recovery from May 2015 to October 20, 2017 was in excess of N738.9 billion, which is equivalent to over $2.9 billion. This does not include recovery in other currencies like Durham, CRA and British Pound.
“The EFCC has also made a lot of recovery locally. Within this year alone, the Commission recovered stolen assets running into several millions of US dollars and billions in naira. This includes the $43 million recovered from Deziani Allison-Madueke, Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum Resources and the N2 billion spread in seven accounts within three Nigerian banks laundered from the Federal Capital Territory Police Command Salary Accounts.”
According to the records of recovery as published by The Nation within the two-year period; the list includes the recovery of $9.2 million owned by a former Group Managing Director of the NNPC Andrew Yakubu.
N3 billion recovered from INEC officials as part of the 2015 election bribery probe.
The N328,988,296,990.62 from oil firms.
The whistle-blower policy, has led to the recovery of N521,815,000, $53,272,747, £122,890, and €547,730 by the EFCC.
Also, N1.420billion was recovered from some firms and a consultant who benefited from the N19billion illegally deducted from London-Paris club loan refunds by the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).
About N500million from a Northern governor through a mortgage firm.
Also, a company, which assisted another governor to launder $3million London-Paris Club refunds, returned $500,000 to the EFCC.
EFCC recovered N220million from two companies which were involved in the London-Paris Club consultancy scandal.
Forfeiture of $43.4million recovered from the Osborne Towers in Ikoyi.
Following whistle-blowing, the EFCC recovered about of $136,676,600.51 from a fictitious account of a person suspected to be a public officer.
Also, two other persons voluntarily refunded $15million, N7billion and N1billion after some whistle-blowers exposed the huge deposits in their accounts.
Magu said the recovery was possible for EFCC because it employed “ the mechanism of the non-conviction based forfeiture provided under Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act”.
He made some recommendations on how to recover stolen public funds.
He sought for improved coordination and cooperation among State parties through the consideration and adoption of measures that will remove traditional ‘barriers, such as bank secrecy consistent with Article 46(8) and dual criminality Article 46(9) as well as simplified legal technicalities in the recovery and repatriation of stolen funds.
The EFCC boss in his paper also asked for measures to “reduce cost of recovery of assets for developing countries and ensure speedy return of all stolen assets to victim states in line with the current resolution sponsored by Nigeria.
He also called for sanctions and prosecution of any financial institution that violates AML/CFT measures and the maintenance of a public register on beneficial ownership.