The House of Representatives, yesterday, accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Nigeria Customs Service and Accountant General to the Federation, AGF, of deliberate attempts to derail investigation into the N2 trillion worth of seized and recovered assets by the EFCC since its creation.
The House had last July, passed a resolution which mandated its committee on drugs, narcotics and financial crimes to carry out an investigative inquiry into the matter and report back within four weeks.
The committee, headed by Jagaba Adams Jagaba (PDP, Kaduna), had started the investigation last July when the speaker, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, directed that all committees’ activities be suspended to allow members participate fully in the voting on constitution amendment process.
Jagaba in a statement said of the several stakeholders from who the committee requested information, EFCC, Nigeria Customs Service, Accountant General’s Office and Real Estate Derivatives, had continued to deliberately withhold from the committee the much needed information.
He explained that it was in view of this development that he could categorically state that the National Assembly and, indeed, all Nigerians had been taken for granted.
“This is not only shocking and unfortunate but highly disappointing coming from an agency set up by an Act of the National Assembly to fight corruption,” Jagaba said.
He however vowed, that the committee would not relent in its investigation, adding that “for the avoidance of doubt, the committee is not happy and will not hesitate to invoke the powers conferred on it by the constitution to the fullest to compel the aforementioned agencies to comply.”
It would be recalled that former chairmen of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, and Mrs. Farida Waziri, as well as Managing Director of Assets Management Company of Nigeria, AMCON, Mr Mustafa Chike-Obi, shunned the investigative hearing into seized assets allegedly worth over N2 trillion on July 14.
Both past chairmen of the anti-graft agency were absent at the hearing.
Also absent was the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi.
This development did not go down well with members of the committee who tongue-lashed the CEOs for failing to appear before them.
Jagaba had to threaten to summon them or issue a bench warrant before they appeared the following day with a catalogue of excuses.
Till the two-day public hearing drew its curtain on July 17, both Nuhu Ribadu and Farida Waziri refused to show up.
The AMCON MD and other stakeholders, however, appeared after Jagaba’s threat to clear themselves and their agencies.
Some of the seized assets include posh cars, private jets, mansions scattered all over the globe, communication equipment and warehouses. [Vanguard]