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Extortion:EFCC trails ex-governor, bizman

Posted by From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Northern Operation on 2008/10/11 | Views: 1425 |

Extortion:EFCC trails ex-governor, bizman


THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on the trail of a former governor and a businessman who have been accused of pressuring some serving governors to part with millions of naira to avoid prosecution.

THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on the trail of a former governor and a businessman who have been accused of pressuring some serving governors to part with millions of naira to avoid prosecution.

Investigations by The Nation revealed that the two suspects had allegedly made some ex-governors and incumbent ones to believe that they are allies of the Chairman of EFCC, Mrs. Farida Waziri, and could stop their probe by the commission.

It was learnt that the suspects claimed that they are friends of Waziri and could sway her opinion on any case before the EFCC.

Investigations by The Nation revealed that the two suspects have made some ex-governors and incumbent ones to believe that they are allies of Mrs. Waziri and could stop their probe by the commission.

The Nation gathered that one of the suspects had forced a former governor to release some millions of naira in a desperate bid to avoid prosecution.

A source said: “These suspects had been peddling the name of the chairman to harrass some governors and those who have cases before the EFCC.

“One of them had recently phoned a South-South governor to demand for a lump sum to stave off investigation of his administration. “Armed with call records, the affected South-South governor had been saying that at the appropriate time he would spill the bean. "I think the governor is already working with the appropriate telecommunications firm for the

call logs in order to make an issue out of it.

"But it was learnt that another southern governor had damned the consequences and dared one of the suspects to expose his administration if it was guilty of mismanagement of public funds.

"Many people, who have cases with EFCC fear these two influential people and they are falling victims of their blackmail." Investigations, however, revealed that the suspects had no relationship with Mrs. Waziri.

Another source said: "The EFCC chairman has been very careful. A former governor had once warned Waziri to beware of any close link with the businessman.

"Although the EFCC chairman does not want to be seen as disrespectful, she had not been picking strange calls, including those from the businessman."

Findings revealed that the trailing of the two suspects might be the beginning of a clampdown on a larger network and rogue cells of those who are using the advantage of their closeness to Waziri to extort from those with pending cases in EFCC.

A source in the anti-graft commission confirmed to The Nation: "We are already closing in on these influence peddlers and no matter their status in the society, we will deal with them.

"The activities of the ex-governor and the businessman are under watch. We hope the affected governor will come up with evidence so that we can arrest the suspects to serve as deterrent." Contacted, the Head of Media and Publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Femi Babafemi, said: "I am not aware of the particular case you referred to.

"But I know that the Chairman of the EFCC, Mrs. Farida Waziri, is aware that some people are using the name of the commission for some selfish reasons and this she is not taking lightly. "This is why we are presently running some advertisements in the media to alert the public about the activities of these criminals.

"Hotlines have also been provided for people to give information that would enable the commission to close in on these people."

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Comments (2)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown