Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ilorin zone, has said that about 20 senior officials of the Kwara State Government have been investigated for alleged corrupt practices in the state public service.
The commission stated that already, over 15 properties of the affected officials in the choice areas within Ilorin metropolis, ranging from hotels, filling stations, residential accommodations and microfinance banks have been uncovered and investigated in the state.
Speaking yesterday at a press conference in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, the Ilorin Zonal Head of the EFFC, Mr. Isyaku Sharu, said that “the affected senior officials ranged from assistant directors, deputy directors, accountants, treasurers, among others, whose monthly salaries are not more than N90, 000.
He also said that the N10 billion that was to be stolen by the immediate past administration was intercepted and saved for the current administration.
According to him, “you will agree with me that official corruption is the greatest killer as officials who ordinarily are supposed to guard and protect state resources have turned out to misappropriate it.
“To this end, the commission beamed its search light on the Kwara State officials and on a credible tip off, the commission is currently investigating over fifteen properties in choice areas within Ilorin metropolis, ranging from hotels, filling stations, residential accommodation, microfinance institutions, among others.
“It will shock you to hear that the alleged owners are civil servants whose earning per month is not more than N90,000 (ninety thousand naira per month). Some have confessed to the commission and the matter is in court.
“It has always been a tradition in the country that whenever any government is exiting, it will indulge in mass pilferage as the last minute golden opportunity, hence our resolve to mount surveillance on all Kwara State Government accounts between May 24 and 29, 2019.
When the state received FAAC, JAAC VAT and tax refund from the federal government, to the tune of about N10 billion, I can authoritatively tell you that we saved the state last minute attempted financial misappropriation of those billions.”
Sharu also said that since the commission commenced operations in Ilorin in December 2018, a cash of N50 million have been recovered from fraudsters based on petitions and that the money was returned to the real owners.
“This included those recoveries from some state legislators who allegedly duped some people. The commission also has over N200 million on interim forfeiture,” he added.
The EFCC official also stressed that in order to sanitise the electoral system and discourage vote buying in the state, the commission had commenced campaign against the exercise across the state.
He added that “from the eve of the last general election till date, we have a case before the state high court on vote buying awaiting judgement.”
The noted that the commission was fighting internet fraudsters in the zone to a standstill as 29 cases have been charged to both state and federal high courts, saying as at last Friday, 15 of the cases had been convicted.
“The court also ordered that their exotic cars and monies running into millions of naira in their bank accounts be forfeited to the federal government”, he added.