FG raises panel to probe EFCC, ICPC

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Federal Government has set up a presidential committee to investigate high-profile corruption cases allegedly compromised by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The committee, which is under the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, is broadly named Presidential Committee on Verification of Assets.

Our correspondent learnt that the committee, which had yet to be inaugurated as of Tuesday, had been split into three sub committees.

One of the subcommittees is primarily charged with the verification of looted assets recovered by the EFCC while another subcommittee will have similar focus on recovered loot by the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission.

The third subcommittee, according to a source in the Federal Ministry of Justice, will probe the alleged fraud in the nation’s pension scheme.

A document obtained from a source in the ministry on Tuesday by our correspondent shows that in addition to verifying recovered assets, one of the subcommittees will probe petitions alleging corruption against individuals and organisations whose cases were either compromised by the EFCC or not investigated at all.

The tasks of the subcommittees, according to the document, are, “To identify all parties that engaged in conspiratorial fraudulent activities at EFCC that led to financial loss to the FGN;

“To analyse petitions submitted to the EFCC against persons and organisations in billions of naira that were not investigated or investigated and compromised by the EFCC hence caused collateral economic loss to the FGN;

“To analyse all cases the EFCC took over from other agencies or investigated with other agencies, and report the actual and collateral loss to the FGN;

“To assess the EFCC’s standing procedure on seizures, forfeitures, management of seized properties, remittances etc;

“To verify all assets seized by the EFCC and/or forfeited by criminal suspects to the EFCC onshore and offshore;

“To verify all remittances by the EFCC to the FGN;

“To reconcile assets seized and/or forfeited vis-a-vis assets remitted to the FGN;

“To identify and audit all bank accounts opened by the EFCC and all bank accounts seized from criminal suspects onshore and offshore from inception to date, among others.”

Malami had, in his address during his maiden press conference on November 19, 2015 in Abuja, given a hint about the activities of the asset verification committee when he said suspected compromise in investigation of high-profile cases would be probed.

The minister had said his administration would undertake an audit of high-profile corruption cases “so that those who are found wanting through the compromise of investigation and prosecution processes shall be prosecuted”.

 

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