No fewer that nine persons have been convicted for various financial crimes in suits preferred against them by the Benin Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The Zonal office of the Commission also recovered a total of N312,561,585.31 in the course of its operation, even as it returned N4,209,097.96, N147,220,600 and N161,131,887.35 to the Federal Government, corporate bodies and individuals, respectively.

The convicted persons were from Edo, Delta and Ondo States that the Benin Zonal office covers.

The Benin Zonal Head of the EFCC, Mr. Mailafia Yakubu, who disclosed this while briefing journalists on the achievements of the Zonal office in the last one year, added that 28 cases were pending in court.

According to Yakubu, 654 petitions were received by the agency, while 557 petitions were approved for investigation, 64 of them were rejected for various reasons.

He stated, “From the approved petitions, nine cases were forwarded to other zones for logistics reasons, we also forwarded 23 cases to the Nigeria Police as matters raised in the petition were within the jurisdiction of the Nigeria Police, just as we forwarded one to another sister agency.

“We have also secured the final forfeiture of a Toyota Corolla to the Federal Government while we are in the process of securing the interim forfeiture of two houses and three vessels used for illegal activities.”

The EFCC Zonal head, while decrying the prevalence of cybercrime within the Zone, lamented that some parents allegedly conspired with their children to prevent the anti-graft agency from carrying out its constitutional responsibility.

He noted that the fight against corruption was a collective responsibility, even as he assured that the EFCC would continue to spread its enlightenment campaign to institutions within the Zone.

“And as part of our strategic plans to ensure a corrupt-free nation in the nearest future, we have embarked on aggressive sensitisation and enlightenment campaign in schools – primary, secondary and tertiary institutions, across the three states that are within our coverage area.

“What we are trying to do, through this initiative, is to catch them young, because we believe that if the next generation see corruption and economic and financial crimes as evil, then, very soon, corruption will be exterminated.”

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