EFCC partners anti-corruption agencies worldwide for return of stolen funds

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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday said was collaborating with other anti-corruption agencies across the globe for the return of the nation’s commonwealth in overseas countries.
The commander of the Benin City zonal office of the commission, Suleman Bello, made the disclosure in his speech to commemorate African anti-Corruption Day with the theme, “Towards a common African Position on Asset recovery,” in Benin City.

Bello, who lamented that the African continent had continuously lost billions of dollars to Europe and other continents as a result of corruption, said Nigeria had over the years lost billions of naira to illicit financial flow.
He however attributed the backwardness of the country after 58 years of sovereign statehood to corruption.
“It is a settled fact that Nigeria as a country has over the years lost billions of naira to illicit financial flow. This act of corruption is the reason our country is still touted as potentially great nation after 58 years of sovereign statehood.

“It is this reason that there is unconscionable poverty in our otherwise rich nation,” he said.
He opined that the resources that would had delivered the good life to the majority of the people had been cornered and stolen by ravenous elite, leaving our roads, hospitals and other social amenities in appalling state.

He also disclosed that the Benin zonal office had in the last six months secured 51 convictions of persons involved in various kind of fraud, the sum of N45,619,706,71 million and properties and instruments of frauds, proceeds of crimes had been forfeited to the Federal Government.
He also added that in 2018, the commission secured 315 convictions in 2018 while between January and June this year, the commission had already secured numerous convictions and assets and properties … Read More...

When success is a crime: MTN and EFCC harassment

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Nigeria has an uncanny proclivity for pressing the ‘self-destruct’ button anytime it appears the country is making progress. That is the how best to describe the recent harassment of MTN by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

It was not long ago that the Nigerian government and regulatory agencies descended on South African telecommunication mobile giant, perhaps, the only most successful and biggest non-oil investor in Nigeria till date, with a raft of disproportionately severe fines and sanctions seen mostly in the international investment circles as an attempt to chase away the most successful foreign investor in the country. But it appears, the government or its agencies have decided the company would know no peace operating in Nigeria and have again resorted to another round of harassment and intimidation often based on some spurious allegations that are not too difficult to dismiss.

Last week, the EFCC invaded and shut down the headquarters of the company in Ikoyi ostensibly to investigate allegations of share price manipulation by the company.

Pray, how do you investigate share price manipulation by shutting down the office of a company? Why don’t they go to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) where the stocks are listed, or the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the regulator or even stock brokers’ offices where the alleged crimes, if any, were committed? This shows a lack of professionalism and little understanding on how the system works. What is more, MTN’s trading shares and investors are known and public knowledge; so why the undue harassment?

This cannot do Nigeria any good. Despite the low ratings of the country on the ease of doing business index, the reality of companies and factories closing shop due to the harsh business environment, loss of tax revenues from departing firms is making … Read More...

Updated: EFCC to investigate MTN’s listing 

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MTN Nigeria says it received a letter from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday May 23, requesting information and documentation related to the listing of its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
In a statement signed by Uto Ukpanah, MTN’s company secretary, the telecommunications company says it has not been accused of any wrong doing by the EFCC.
“We wish to reiterate that we received all regulatory approvals required to list our shares on the NSE, as publicly declared by the Nigerian Stock Exchange and Securities Exchange Commission (SEC),” Ukpanah said.
BusinessDay learnt that on Friday May 24, operatives of the EFFC visited the MTN head office in Falomo Ikoyi Lagos, disrupting work activities.
Our source confirmed that the visit was pertaining to alleged issues on the genuineness of MTN’s recent listing which the EFCC would need to investigate.
“I believe the EFCC was informed that MTN was manipulating figures and also, maybe because of fraud pertaining to the company’s listing,” the source said.
However, MTN denies any fraudulent activity.
“As a law abiding and responsible corporate citizen, we are co-operating fully with the authorities. We are committed to good governance and to abiding by the extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” MTN said in its statement.

 

Jumoke Akiyode-Lawanson

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EFCC shuts down MTN Nigeria head office for alleged fraud

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Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Friday raided the MTN Nigeria head office in Falomo Ikoyi Lagos, shutting down all activities in the Complex, BusinessDay has learnt.

Although the reason for the raid could not be ascertained at the time of reporting, BusinessDay, sources say members of the anti-graft agency stormed the telco’s head office, stopping all activities for alleged fraudulent financial activities pertaining to the company’s recent listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

“I believe the EFCC was informed that MTN was manipulating figures and also, maybe because of fraud pertaining to the company’s listing,” the source said.

BusinessDay contacted Funso Aina, MTN’s Public Relations Officer, who neither denied nor admitted that the company was raided, but said: “We will send out a statement to that effect very soon.

 

Jumoke Akiyode-Lawanson

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EFCC quizzes NASS Clerk, seizes his passport

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has interrogated the Clerk to the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani Omolori, on issues related to records of finances of the Assembly as well as the inauguration of the Ninth National Assembly, BusinessDay has learnt.

Checks at the National Assembly on Wednesday, revealed that Omolori was invited to the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 and interrogated for six hours beginning from 11am to 5pm.

Apart from initial questions on records of finances of the National Assembly, it was gathered that Omolori was asked a specific question on the method of election of the Presiding Officers of the Ninth National Assembly.

When contacted, authorities at the EFCC confirmed Omolori’s interrogation.

The EFCC source however would not want his name mentioned because he was not authorized to speak on the matter.

Findings revealed that operatives of the anti-graft agency seized Omolori’s international passport.

It was also learnt that other key officials of the National Assembly including the Clerk of the Senate, Clerk of the House of Representatives as well as their deputies would be invited to the commission on Thursday.

Investigations showed that before Omolori’s invitation, the former Clerk to the National Assembly, Salisu Abubakar Maikasuwa, was equally quizzed.

A National Assembly source hinted that Maikasuwa was quizzed shortly before Omolori got to the EFCC office and the two met there.

On how Omolori got invited to the EFCC, the National Assembly source said that he was initially informed by one of his top security aides that the EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu, wanted to see him.

But on getting to the EFCC headquarters, Omolori was told that Magu had left the office and had left instruction that another EFCC officer should attend … Read More...