By Haruna Salami
The Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has disclosed that the estimated value of the jewelry of the former Minister of Petroleum, Deziani Alison Maduake, which was forfeited to the Federal Government is N14.416 billion.
Similarly, the estimated value of the houses Deziani forfeited to the government is 80 million US dollars.
Appearing before the House of Representatives Ad-hoc Committee on “Assessment and Status of all recovered loots, Movable and Immovable Assets from 2002 to 2020 by agencies of Federal Government of Nigeria for effective management and utilization (HR 06/07/20)”, Bawa said the Commission is happy with the committee set up by Federal Government to dispose off assets seized by EFCC and other agencies.
Answering questions from the House Committee, the EFCC boss said “the Deziani jewelries are in our custody, they have not been auctioned yet. They have been finally forfeited in 2019, just like houses, vehicles, etc. The estimated value in naira is given at N14.416 billion. The Commission is looking to the presidential committee to auction all those items and deposit the money appropriately.
“We couldn’t move on to auction them because of certain things that happened, but now the Federal Government has set up a committee, we are praying that it will come to an end very soon when all the items are auctioned, not only that of Deziani.
According to him, the solution is to deal with it case by case basis and restrict the victims of these assets from turning round, after serving their punishment to make attempt to take them back.
On how to make EFCC more transparent to secure the cooperation of other organizations across the world, the EFCC chairman said they will digitalize their operations and continue to keep all their books open.
In addition, he said they have created four new departments thus: intelligence, operations, upgraded procurement and internal affairs unit to full departments and a full department of Information and Communication Technology, ICT.
When asked by the Chairman of the House Ad-hoc Committee, Hon. Adejoro Adeogun for his comment on “looting the loot”, Bawa said “there is nothing like that”, adding that they are “determined to do our best. Action speaks louder than words”.
The Ad-hoc Committee has resolved to invite the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele to appear before it next Thursday, June 3 to answer some questions.