EFCC investigates top security officials who own property in Dubai

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has commenced investigation into the report of 13 top Nigerian security officials owning 266 property in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate (UAE).

This was part of findings of a report submitted to the commission by the lead researcher in the discovery of the loot, Prof Gbenga Oduntan of Kent Law School, University of Kent, United Kingdom, on behalf of the Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource Centre), several civil society groups and foreign technical partners, earlier in the week.

The report further indicated that not less than 800 property belonging to Nigerians have been traced to Dubai according to the report on stolen funds and assets kept by corrupt Nigerians in the UAE.

The EFCC Chairman, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, assured that the report would be investigated during a meeting with the Chairman, HEDA Resource Centre, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju, Thursday in Abuja.

Bawa, who praised the efforts of the civil society groups in assisting anti-graft agencies to fight and subdue corruption, said the fight against corruption was not an easy task.

“It is not what EFCC can fight alone. We need to do a lot to make it not attractive for people to steal. If we want to stop illicit funds, we need to stop the inflow,” he stated.

The EFCC Chairman said the commission would go after those involved in illicit financial flow in line with his commitment to fight corruption.

He said it was part of the EFCC mandate to retrieve the proceeds of crime across national jurisdiction.

“We have a lot of bilateral and international relations and agreements that bring us together with our partner law enforcement agencies in countries under consideration.

“It is one of our duties to ensure the prevention of the property being taken at all and to ensure they are not taken out of the country.

“They cannot take the funds out of the country without collaborators’ adding that states and institutions should ensure a honest and transparent procurement procedure,” Bawa said.

He said the EFCC valued collaboration with civil society groups set up to promote public good, just as he counselled Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) not to allow themselves to be used by criminals seeking the primitive accumulation of wealth.

Earlier, Suraju said the group was determined to expose corrupt people wherever they are, adding that fighting noxious funds looted from Nigeria remained one of the focal points of the group.

Also present at the meeting were top EFCC officials, leaders of civil society organisations from across the including among others, the Civil Society Network Against Corruption, (CSNAC), Journalists for Democratic Rights, JODER, Dr Abdulkareem Tukur and Social and Economic Rights and Accountability Project, (SERAP).

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