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Breaking: We’ll prosecute Orji Uzor Kalu afresh – EFCC Chair Bawa

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It is not yet Uhuru for chief Orji Uzor Kalu, former governor of Abia state as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa said the commission will reopen the corruption case against Kalu and prosecute him all over again.

Bawa, who dropped this bombshell on Thursday while addressing journalists during the weekly ministerial chat at the State House in Abuja said the politician, who is also the Chief Whip of the ninth Senate said would not go scot-free.

Recall that a Federal High Court in Lagos had on June 2, 2020 granted a motion seeking the release of Kalu from the Kuje Prison custody.

Justice Mohammed Liman before whom the applicant’s motion was pending, granted the prayer of the applicant and ordered the release of Kalu.

Kalu was sentenced to 12 years for an N7.2 billion fraud. The verdict was handed down by Justice Mohammed Idris on December 5, 2019, while his co-defendant, Jones Udeogo bagged a 10-year jail term.

Bawa also clarified reports accredited to him concerning the involvement of a Minister in the laundering of about $37 million into real estate. He disclosed that he simply made reference to an old case involving a former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Madueke.

The EFCC Chairman further disclosed that since his first 100 days in office, the agency has been working on a number of proactive strategies including a special control unit against money laundering, established particularly to address non-designated financial institutions including car dealers, real estate, jewellery dealers, among others.

Bawa said he is confident that when the unit is fully established, corruption will significantly decline in the country.

He then added that the agency is equally working towards the development of a biometric ownership database to address money laundering.

According to him, most proceeds of crime are laundered through real estate and have become a huge challenge. He gives examples of property acquired especially in Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt where billions of naira are laundered through this means.

He, however, declined to disclose actual perpetrators or the properties involved.

He revealed that since his assumption, a number of recoveries have been made including N6billion, $161million, £13,000 pounds, €1,730 among others.

Internet fraudsters numbering 1,502 have also been apprehended between January to June 2021 and efforts are underway to file about 800 of them. A hundred cases will be filed in court.

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