Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja
As part of efforts to curb government’s recurrent expenditure, especially rent, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says houses recovered from alleged looters have been handed over to government agencies for use.
The Chairman of the EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu, disclosed this during a meeting with journalists in Abuja on Wednesday.
Some of the agencies which received the properties included: Voice of Nigeria, Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, Presidential Initiative on the North-East and Voluntary Asset and Income Declaration Scheme.
It was learnt that one of the properties, a mansion located at 6, Ogun River Crescent, Maitama, had allegedly belonged to a former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (retd.), who is standing trial for alleged N3bn fraud.
Another seized property, Briffina Hotel, Garki Area 1, was once owned by Dr Sani Teidi, a former director of Pension Accounts, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, who is standing trial before Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja, for alleged N18.3bn fraud.
Magu said, “In an effort to maximise and utilise some of the forfeited properties recovered by the commission, numerous government agencies have been allocated properties to be used as offices.
“These magnificent properties are currently housing institutions such as VAIDS office under the Ministry of Finance, a unit from the defence headquarters, Voice of Nigeria, PINE and also PTAD. This, in the long run, will drastically reduce the cost of rent by institutions.”
Magu added that the commission had recovered N35bn and N4bn for the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Asset Management Company of Nigeria, respectively.
“Tax liabilities of other institutions running into billions of naira have also been identified and the companies have agreed to pay,” the EFCC boss added.
He stated that between January and August this year, the EFCC had secured156 convictions while over N108bn had been recovered within the same period.
Magu added, “Between January and August 2018, the commission has secured 158 convictions and still counting while within the same period, we have recovered N106,516,222; $1,635,925; £629,193 and €25, 575.”
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