Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said on Friday in Enugu that Imo state government is under its searchlight for alleged money laundering during the last gubernatorial election in the state.
The commission said based on its intervention, the sum of N5 billion was saved for the incoming administration to inherit.
The Southeast zonal head of EFCC, Usman Imam, told reporters that the commission swung into action on receiving signals from Abuja of the shady deals going on on the eve of the election and ensured that it blocked all avenues money was being syphoned from.
Imam said already, the sums of N700m and N500m had been withdrawn prior to their intervention and steps were already in progress to withdraw another N1.8b when they arrived to stop it.
According to him, the sad thing about the shady deal was that the monies were from the bailout fund received from the Federal Government for the purpose of paying salaries and pensions.
But state government officials who are still answering questions regarding the withdrawals claim the monies were for schools projects.
Imam further hinted that the zonal office fully participated in the monitoring of elections in the zone in line with the acting chairman’s directive to checkmate electoral fraud especially vote buying and money laundering.
“The commission’s involvement was due to our realisation that we cannot be said to be fighting corruption without looking critically at electoral process to make sure they are not only transparent, but people voted their conscience and not out of pecuniary or material inducements,” he informed.
The EFCC zonal head outlined the achievements of the outfit in the zone within the first quarter of the year.
Among the achievements recorded include the recovery of N102.32m, $6,450 and seized 30 different brands of cars all of which are being investigated to ascertain which is actual proceed of crime or not.
Imam disclosed that the EFCC in the zone received a total of 557 petitions, out of which 127 were approved and under investigation. The rest “were rejected on the grounds of being civil in nature, falling under other agencies’ mandate or already being in court.”
He also announced that within the quarter, “the zone has secured a total of 28 convictions, a 100 percent increase from a total of 14 convictions recorded last year.”
Imam lamented the rising cases of cyber crimes in the zone and appealed to parents to take up their God-given responsibilities of monitoring their children or wards.
He said: “In the east, the case of Internet or Cyber crimes popularly called yahoo yahoo is very alarming and from investigations so far made, it is unfortunate that some parents are not only aware of their children’s involvement but even abets such terrible crime.
”What is very worrisome is that most of the perpetrators of these crimes are students of higher institutions, graduates, youth corps members and secondary school students who are already learning the ropes from their elders in the nefarious business. “