Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said it has recovered N553.777 million from leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-east zone in its ongoing efforts to recover government money used to fund the partyâ€™s presidential campaign in 2015.
The Zonal Head of Operations of the commission, Mr. Johnson Babalola, briefed journalists on the activities of the commission in the past seven months.
He said the commission recovered N300 million, N82.5 million, and N60 million from chieftains of the party in Ebonyi, Abia and Enugu States respectively.
â€œWe have recovered N300 million out of N400 million in Ebonyi. In Abia, we recovered N82.5 million out of N450 million while we got N60 million in Enugu out of N450 million.
â€œHowever, we are facing some challenges in Anambra and Imo but the commission is working on them,â€ he said.
Babalola said the commission had resolved to prosecute all staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Imo, Anambra and Enugu found culpable as soon as the courts resumes from vacation.
â€œWithin the period, we received a total of 503 petitions from Nigerians out of which 333 were approved for investigation while others not under our purview were referred to sister agencies.
â€œWe charged 88 of such cases to court and have so far obtained five convictions,â€ he said.
Babalola said the judiciary had been of immense help in line with its constitutional mandate in spite of the antics of the suspects.
He said the then executive members of the PDP in Abia were under investigation for their complicity in the 2015 campaign fund fraud.
â€œRecovering stolen funds from politically exposed persons is not easy. The people we are dealing with take painstaking efforts to perfect the fraud. Some of the money have left the shores of this country and we have written the foreign countries from here,â€ he said.
Babalola said the stolen funds must be returned to the federal government coffers.
â€œWe have discovered some of the bogus projects used by the corrupt politicians to corner the stolen funds and very soon we shall come out with our findings,â€ Babalola said.
He further disclosed that the commission has initiated investigations into failed federal road contracts in the South-east, noting that already all contractors that got various road contracts from the federal government have been invited for questioning.