ABUJA – Wilson Uwujaren, Head of Media and Publicity, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday said the commission had recovered assets worth over 11 billion dollars in 11 years.
Uwujaren said this in Abuja at news briefing of the Forum of Spokespersons of Security and Response Agencies (FOSSRA) convened by I. Nigerian Initiative, an NGO.
He said that the commission had handled thousands of cases in the area of economic and financial crimes.
“And I want to report that we have recorded over 100 convictions as a result of our investigations.
“In terms of assets recovery, we have recovered assets of well over 11 billion dollars in 11 years and I think that is a record.’’
According to him, the cases of oil subsidy being prosecuted by the commission are on course as over 40 persons and organisations are currently under prosecution in various courts across the country.
“One of the suspects, Seun Ogunbambo, Managing Director of Fargo Energy Ltd., who was docked for stealing N4.5 billion in bogus subsidy claims, had absconded and refused to attend trial.
“Consequently, he was declared wanted by the commission. I wish to restate that the fugitive is still on the commission’s wanted persons’ list.
“I like to also use this forum to inform members of the public that the commission is also looking for one Azmat Mahmood, an international petroleum trader whose company, Nimex Petroleum Ltd., is involved in the case,” he said.
Uwujaren said that ASB Investment, Aro Samuel Bamidele and Abiodun Bankole were already standing trial before an Ikeja High Court for the same case.
He said that Nimex Petroleum Ltd. is allegedly the trading company that purportedly sold and shipped 38,010, 413 litres of Premium Motor Spirit to the defendants for which they received more than N1.34 billion as subsidy for products supplied.
Uwujaren said that Mahmood was a German citizen of Pakistani-extraction and charges were filed against his company in July 2013 but all efforts to get him to appear in court had been futile.
On oil theft, the EFFC spokesperson said that the commission had made commendable strides in checking the menace with the assistance of other law enforcement organisations, especially the Navy and Army.
He said that a few months ago, two Indians , Sailesh Singh, Chadrashekar Sharma, were jailed after a successful prosecution by the commission.
Uwujaren said that the duo were among 12 suspected oil thieves arrested in Brass, Bayelsa State in 2012 by the Joint Task Force with 157,822 litres of suspected stolen crude.
He said that 12 persons were currently being prosecuted for their involvement in fraud at both the Head of Service Pension Office and the Police Pension Office.
“Recently in Kano, the commission nabbed a banker, a 1977 graduate of Usman Danfodio University Sokoto who stole N661 million from a first generation bank.
“The commission is equally investigating a case of over N855 million as fraud in an old generation bank in Port-Harcourt.
“The fraud was perpetrated over a period of five months by the culprit through his wife who works with a new generation bank.
Uwujaren urged members of the public to report any suspicious invitation to the commission’s Department of Internal Affairs through the email: [email protected]
He urged the public to call 09-9044752 and 09-9044753 to report such invitations between 8a.m. and 5p.m. weekdays only (NAN)