Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, did not influence the investigation of the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita.
The agency said in a statement that there was no truth in insinuations and reports, describing it as the handiwork of mischief makers.
It said Oyo-Ita’s investigation was based on intelligence available to the commission.
“The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to reports by a section of the media, insinuating that the ongoing investigation of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita by the commission was instigated by the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari.
“The commission wishes to state that there is no truth in these claims, and urges the general public to disregard the reports as the handiwork of mischief makers.
“For the avoidance of doubt, investigation by the EFCC is evidence-based. Most often, they are triggered by petitions or intelligence. In the case of the HoS, Oyo- Ita’s investigation, it was prompted by intelligence received by the commission,” the statement explained.
The statement signed by Spokesman of the commission, Wilson Ewujaren said “the EFCC is an independent agency created by law to fight corruption without fear or favour. In the discharge of its mandate, the commission does not take instructions from extraneous bodies neither will it lend itself to be used to settle scores by anyone.
“The commission again wishes to appeal to the media to be circumspect in their reportage and not lend themselves to actions that could befuddle the activities of the commission”.
Meanwhile, the commission said it arrested 33 suspected internet fraudsters yesterday at their hideout in an early morning operation by operatives of the Abuja and Enugu Zonal Offices, in Owerri, Imo State.
The suspects are Clinton Emere, Obinna Okonkwo, Ogochukwu Ogbonna, Joseph Udom Kousin, Prince Ewunone, Franklin Michael, Tolli Ameiche, Anderson, Berthel, David Franklin, Aboi Etealu, Chinubu Nwosu, Marizu Chidiebere, Dominic Terry Joseph, Christopher Nwosu, Peter Gift Uche, Edinalo Ifeanyichukwu , Ndubuisi Ikenna, John Frank, Anowe Precious, Joseph Levi Chima, Samuel Oria, Tochi Mmerom, Chimezia Cleansman, Okonkwo Obinna, Uchendu Gift, Nkwodi Nnamdi, Izywa Munachi, Ekone Aniche, Opara Donald, Aniche Tochukwu, Anelka Okon and Ebizien Franklin Udochukwu.
Items recovered from them include laptop computers, mobile phones, two Lexus RX350 SUV and a Toyota Solara salon car.
The suspects have made useful statements and will be charged to court as soon as investigation is completed.