Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ilorin Zonal Office yesterday said it has handed over a sum of N263 million allegedly recovered from the immediate past Kwara State public officials to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
The zonal head of the anti-graft agency, Mr. Ishyaku Sharu, made the disclosure in Ilorin while handing over the money to the governor at the agency’s headquarters in Ilorin.
He said the money was part of the funds looted from the treasury of the state’s internal revenue service as well as the 16 local government areas in the state.
He added that about N5 billion was allegedly siphoned from Kwara State Internal Revenue Service and shared in the ratio of 30 to 70 per cent among notable individuals in the state through their cronies.
He explained that EFCC was keeping track of the activities of all political office holders either appointed or elected in the state to ensure sanity in the polity.
He added that the state government would be informed of any financial irregularities against any appointee to enable it sanitise the system.
“This brings to N373 million the looted funds so far handed to Kwara State Government. The total recoveries by Ilorin Zonal Office of EFCC in the past one year are in excess of N8 billion worth of assets and cash.
“Last year, EFCC handed over N111 million to the state government,” he said..
Responding after the official handing over of the money, AbdulRazaq commended the anti-graft body for the recovery and the handing over of the looted funds.
He said: “We are quite excited for getting this money. This is a huge amount of money to be released to us at this time. It is mind-boggling that the situation has come to this.
“Anytime arrest is made, some persons would rain abuses on EFCC and even the state government but the money keeps coming in. Yet they claim nothing was stolen.
“We thank the EFCC. So far, we have got over N300 million and it is a continuous exercise. On our part, we will be judicious in utilising the fund. We will always remember that one day, we will leave this position we are today and we will be made accountable too. That is why we have to be responsible in what we do now.”
AbdulRazaq said the over N111 million earlier recovered and released to the state formed the seed money for the social security programme now underway for the benefits of the poorest of the poor in Kwara.
“The presence of EFCC here makes everybody to sit up and being responsible and brought about change in perception, dynamism and thinking of the civil service and the entire citizens. We must all come together to kill corruption,” he said.
The governor noted that Kwara State is currently paying N35 million monthly to the federal government because the former administration collected N2 billion loan for small businesses but allegedly mismanaged the money.