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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Senate President tells EFCC 'Stop the circus and unveil owner of seized $50m,'

Chibueze Ogbonna     6:40 AM     No comments

Saraki


Senate President Bukola Saraki has described the ownership controversy surrounding the $50 million cash seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as a "circus".

The operatives of the EFCC had on Wednesday, April 12, discovered  $43 million, £27,000 and N23 million in flat 7B, 16, Osborne road, Ikoyi, Lagos.
Since the raid that led to the huge recovery, several prominent Nigerians, including the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Adamu Mu'azu and former PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, have been fingered as the owners of the cash.
All the individuals linked to the funds have denied the ownership.
Afterwards, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) afterwards claimed the cash belongs to the agency, saying it was meant for 'covert operations'.
However, a Federal High Court in Lagos had ordered the temporary forfeiture of the funds and scheduled May 5 for the owner to appear before it.
Speaking in an interview with Arise TV, Saraki asked the EFCC to reveal the real owner of the cash with further delay, adding that Nigerians deserve answers.
He said: "I believe this is something simple that the organisation (EFCC) should manage, even before the speculation started coming out. The circus has to come to end as to whether it belongs to individuals, companies, agencies or a state government.
"We, however, believe they will sort it out and eventually tell Nigerians who owns the money. Nigerians deserve to know. The circus must stop."
Saraki also urged Nigerians to personalise the ongoing anti-corruption war.
"I believe progress will be made faster if the process is transparent. Those are ways to strengthen institutions. When the process is transparent up to the investigative stage, people will not believe that it is because of this person that so, so, person is being prosecuted.
"Corrupt people are very patient, but with a transparent process, the fight against corruption will be won.
"On our part, we are doing all it takes to strengthen institutions. We have four bills before us, one is with the constitution amendment committee, and one has been taken back by the executive," the Senate President added.
The Presidency has been silent since the recovery came to light, but sources say President Muhammadu Buhari asked the NIA to request for fresh funds for its 'covert operations' while the seized cash remains in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) until investigations are finalised.

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