The Commission is concerned over the campaign of calumny launched against it by two former staff: Ms. Juliet Ibekaku and Mr. Michael Nzekwe.
Ibekaku, a failed deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Enugu State, has been using her participation in APC policy events to fire broadsides at the EFCC. On Thursday May 21, 2015 at an APC Policy Dialogue in Lagos, she made the following claim:
“In the past seven or eight years since EFCC started, we’ve been hearing about governors who have been in the courts for the past eight years, no conviction, nothing! No assets recovered. And we are still (sic) back to square one.
So, something has to change. And in my mind, what needs to change is the leadership. The second thing that needs to change is the staffing, who are we hiring to work in this place?”
She was applauded by her audience, who mistook her intervention for altruism. Unknown to them, what drives Ibekaku is neither party nor national interest. Rather she is galvanized by a burning, selfish desire to run down the EFCC because she was dismissed from the Commission for gross indiscipline.
Indeed, were her comments from someone who had no relationship with the Commission, one might have excused it for ignorance. But Ibekaku, who is also a lawyer, knows the achievements and efforts of the EFCC in the prosecution of Politically Exposed Persons and the quantum of assets that have been recovered by the EFCC but has chosen to play the ostrich.
However, for Nigerians to see through her lies, it is important to recall some of the milestones achieved by the Commission in the investigation, prosecution and recovery of assets of Politically Exposed Persons, including ex-governors.
Until he was pardoned by the Nigerian government, it is on record that former Bayelsa State governor, DSP Alamieyeseigha was the first former state governor to be successfully prosecuted by the EFCC. Over N3billion which includes the proceeds realized from the sale of his properties has been returned to Bayelsa State. These properties include Chelsea Hotel, Abuja. Other real estate investment of Alamieyeseigha which accounts were frozen by the Commission include:
1. Plot 26 Dalhatu Close, Abacha Estate, Ikoyi
2. 20 Obaji Street, Diobu Port Harcourt
3. 1. Community Road, off Allen Avenue, Lagos
4. 247, Water Gardens, London W2 2DG
5. 14, Mapesbury Road, London NW2 4JB
6. Flat 202, Jubilee Heights, Shootuphl L, London, NW2 3UQ
7. 68-70, Regents Park Road, London
8. 4A, Ilu Drive, Ikoyi, Lagos
9. 18 Mississippi Street, Maitama, Abuja
10. V & A Water Front, Cape Town, South Africa
11. 2, Marcibit Street, Ishaku Rabiu Estate, Off Aminu Kano Crescent, Abuja
12. 24, Amazon Street, Maitama Abuja.
Another former governor who was prosecuted and convicted by the Commission is former Edo State governor, Lucky Igbinedion. Apart from the Conviction, the Commission equally recovered some properties from him. The properties include:
1. A property located at 57, Ihama Road, GRA, Benin
2. Another property located at 24, Izekor Road, Benin
Following the furore generated by the option of fine handed the governor by the trial judge, the Commission filed fresh charges against Lucky Igbinedion. The action was challenged in court with the trial court ruling that the Commission cannot try the ex-governor on the same matter for which he had already been convicted.
The EFCC appealed against the ruling with the Court of Appeal affirming the Commission’s position that Igbinedion really has a case to answer.
Following that, two of his accomplices, his younger brother, Michael Igbinedion and his Personal Assistant, Charles Eboigbodin who were charged alongside the former governor of Edo State, were successfully prosecuted and convicted, just last month (April 29th 2015, precisely).
The case involving Chimaroke Nnamani, former governor of Enugu State has been in court since he was first arraigned in 2007 alongside Sunday Anyaogu, his then aide and six firms linked to them: Rainbownet Nigeria Limited, Hillgate Nigeria Limited, Cosmos FM, Capital City Automobile Nigeria Limited, Renaissance University Teaching Hospital and Mea Mater Elizabeth High School.
EFCC in 2014 sought for a separate trial of the companies and on May 19, 2015 the companies pleaded guilty to an amended 10-count charge. We await the court pronouncement on the fate of the assets.
Former governor Orji Kalu’s case is currently at the Supreme Court where he is challenging the competence of the charge after the court of appeal affirmed the trial court’s ruling that he has a case to answer.
The Commission has however seized the following properties belonging to the former Abia State governor. They include:
1. Property at 9A, Queen Amina Road, Ungwan, Rimi GRA, Maiduguri
2. Bungalow at 21, Gwari Avenue, Behind Gerau Hospital, Off Kachia Road, Maiduguri
3. Parcel of land at Kirikiri Industrial Estate, Lagos
4. Block of flats at Plot 103A Olumeni Street, Old GRA, Port Harcourt
5. Identical duplex at Plot 65, No. 7& 8. Orogburn Crescent, Diobu GRA 11, Port Harcourt
6. 3 Nos bedroom bungalow plus adjourning buildings at Mairi Village, Maiduguri, Borno State
7. 3 bedroom bungalow at GRA Maiduguri, Borno State
8. Warehouse at Mairi village, Maiduguri
9. Former Progress Bank Building, No. 45, Baga Road, Maiduguri
10. Former Orji Alex Bakery, Bulunkutu, Seleke, Maiduguri
Several accounts in various banks linked to his companies were also frozen by the Commission. The accounts includes those belonging to:
1. Tourism Development Area, Gambia
2. Slok Investment Limited
3. Slok USA INC
4. Slok Nigeria Limited
5. The Sun Publishing
6. Astel Offshore
7. Neva Nigeria Limited
8. Reality Organization
9. Kachi Agwu Enterprises
10. Menco Resources Limited
11. Nnachison & Co
12. Slok Air Nigeria Limited
13. Firmbase Inter Limited
As for Saminu Turaki, former governor of Jigawa State, the accounts of companies linked to him were also frozen by the Commission.
The companies are:
1. INC Natural Resources Limited, 7 Civic Centre Road, Kano
2. Wildcat Nigeria Limited, 31 Kuta Road, Minna, Niger State
3. Arlek Construction Nigeria Limited, 7 Civic Centre Road, Kano
4. Gethel Nigeria Limited, 7 Civic Centre Road, Kano
5. Wallong Camco Nigeria Limited, Tukur Commercial Layout, Dutse
6. Gansu Construction Engineering Limited.
For Joshua Dariye who was recently ordered to proceed to trial after the supreme court rejected his appeal against the appeal court affirmation of the competence of the Commission’s charges against him, the following properties were recovered from him:
1. Property at Plot 1802 Ao4, No. 19 Frederick Chiuba Close, Asokoro, Abuja
2. Plot of land in the name of Jambo Holdings Nigeria Limited, Rayfield, Jos
3. House No. 11, Rest Road, Jos
4. Plot of land at Gada Village, off Adiko Bukuru Road By Pharm Headquarters, Jos
5. Plot of land at Liberty Boulevard, Jos
6. Plot of Land at Ibrahim Taiwo Avenue, Jos
7. Two additional plots along Dogon Dutse Road, Jos
8. Plot of land at Gold & Base Neighbourhood, Jos
9. Plot of land known as Yelwa Club, Bukuru, Jos.
In the case involving former Delta State governor James Ibori whose conviction in a London court was largely based on the evidence supplied by the EFCC, the Commission secured the final forfeiture of the $15million bribe, which he allegedly offered to a former chairman of the Commission, to the Federal Government.
Abubakar Audu, Danjuma Goje, Akwe Doma, Rev. Jolly Nyame, Ayodele Fayose, etc
The cases involving former Kogi State governor, Abubakar Audu, former Gombe State governor, Danjuma Goje, former Nasarawa State governor, Akwe Doma, former Taraba State governor, Rev. Jolly Nyame are progressing in courts, as several witnesses have been called by the prosecution. Of course the case against Ayodele Fayose has only been temporarily halted by the fact of his re-election as Ekiti State governor.
We could go on and on. These records apply to cases involving ex-governors only.
They do not tell the whole story regarding the prosecution and convictions record of the Commission.
Between 2012 and 2014, the Commission recovered N65,320,669,350.35 (Sixty five billion, three hundred and twenty million, six hundred and sixty nine thousand, three hundred and fifty naira, thirty five kobo).
Also, the sum of $245, 952,030.13 (Two hundred and forty-five million, nine hundred and fifty-two thousand, thirty dollars, thirteen cents); and 693, 399.00 (Six hundred and ninety-three thousand, three hundred and ninety-nine, Pounds Sterling) and 62,600.00 (Sixty two thousand Euros) were also recovered during the period.
But, these facts mean nothing to Ibekaku who, in the pursuit of her latter-day ambition is willing to publicly repudiate the achievements of an organization which she was a prominent part of and one on whose pedestal she stood to attain all the “glowing” personal achievements she has been parading in the media.
The obvious goal of Ibekaku is to hoodwink unsuspecting Nigerians by her posturing as an anti-corruption czar, what with her curriculum vitae that advertises her as a top official of the EFCC, where she spent about 7 years of her recent adult working life.
Ibekaku has declared a media misinformation war on the Commission for simply telling Nigerians she was no longer in the service of the Commission, contrary to her posturing.
Before her latest image-tarring outing at the APC Policy Dialogue, Ms. Ibekaku engaged one Emmanuel Onwubiko of the so-called Human Rights Writers Association, HURIWA, to mudsling the Commission.
Onwubiko in his many blind interventions at Juliet’s behest claimed variously that she was dismissed because she was from the South-East and for advocating for an independent Financial Intelligence Unit.
Lately, he has modified those positions to include the fallacy that the Commission is after Ibekaku because she is being considered for a ministerial position or even the chairmanship of the EFCC!
Ms. Ibekaku can aspire to whatever office she wants, but, she does not need to malign the Commission by deliberate distortions and outright falsehood to achieve her ambition.
Let it be emphasized once again, that in apportioning sanctions to Ms. Ibekaku, along with her co-traveller, Michael Nzekwe and nine others who were dismissed from the Commission, EFCC was guided by its Staff Regulations and extant Public Service Rules.
Ms. Ibekaku is challenging her dismissal at the National Industrial Court and we call on her to allow the court rule on her application and not to engage in acts tantamount to self-help, which only highlights among other acts unbecoming of a public officer, the reason she was dismissed from EFCC in the first place: Gross Indiscipline.
Head, Media & Publicity