John Shiklam in Kaduna
The zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) in Kaduna has recovered over N227 million in the last seven months.
The sum, according to the Ibrahim Bappa, Head of Operations of the zone, is made up of N221,336,884.06 and $17,600 (about N6.4 million) recovered from various persons under investigation by the commission.
Bappa who disclosed this in a statement yesterday in Kaduna, also said the commission has screened 865 suspects, arrested within the period arising from 220 petitions received.
He said from the petitions, 130 had been referred for further investigation, 10 cases under prosecution in courts while 80 others had been referred to sister agencies for further investigations.
Bappa said judging from the cooperation of the judiciary in Kaduna State, there was high degree of hope for the EFCC to prosecute financial crimes.
He said interim forfeiture orders have been obtained from the court in respect to some of the assets acquired illegally by some individuals, while the N49million recovered at Kaduna International Airport in March has also been temporarily forfeited to the federal government.
â€œThe zone also wishes to seize this opportunity to inform members of the public to be wary of fake facebook accounts of the Acting Chairman of the commission fraudulently designed to dupe unsuspecting victims.
â€œNigerians are further advised to be suspicious of business proposals with quick and high profit returns; as it may be bait by fraudsters to swindle them of their hard earned assets,â€ the statement said.
The commission further urged all financial institutions to ensure strict compliance with the â€œKnow Your Customerâ€ requirement before opening accounts for individual and corporate bodies which is a requirement under the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.
The statement noted that although the Kaduna Zonal Office of the EFCC was commissioned only last month, it has made remarkable impact in the state and its environs stressing that even before the office was officially commissioned, investigations into cases had begun and some cases were already in court.