The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is presently prosecuting 441 individuals for allegedly vandalising oil pipelines and stealing crude oil.
In addition, the commission is still busy with the prosecution of suspected oil subsidy thieves with over 40 persons and organisations currently in court answering charges.
Spokesman for the commission, Wilson Uwujaren said in Abuja on Wednesday at the Forum of Spokespersons of Security and Response Agencies (FOSSRA/I-Nigerian Initiative media parley that 71 oil thieves have already been jailed by various courts including 45 Nigerians, 10 Ghanaians, 13 Philippines, 10 Indians, two Togolese, one Cameroonian and one Myanmar.
Uwujaren said at the regular parley arranged to highlight activities of the various security and response agencies one Seun Ogunbambo, managing director of Fargo Energy Limited who was docked for stealing N4.5 billion in bogus subsidy claims has absconded after he was granted bail by the court but has been declared wanted by the commission.
He also allayed fears that the prosecution of other politically exposed persons may have been halted and confirmed that the son of former national chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mahmud Tukur and Abdulahi Alao, a son of late Alhaji Arisekola Alao among others were still ongoing.
“As we speak, the commission has recovered over N5 billion from persons implicated in the subsidy scam, even as it intensifies effort to bring more suspects to book”, he said.
He however, insisted that the commission was not in a position to give an advisory on whether individual undergoing prosecution for financial crimes are allowed to stand for elections.
According to him, it is left to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to make that decision.
Uwujaren also disclosed that the commission was also active in prosecuting bank fraud cased and in this wise, recently nabbed Rabiu Alhassan Dawaki, a banker with an unnamed first generation bank in Kano for allegedly stealing N661 million.
“He used his position as cash officer with responsibility for evacuating cash from branches that had excess and supply to needy branches in the Kano Zone to perpetuate the fraud.”
He narrated that in other to position for more efficiency, EFCC has embarked on reforms aimed at re-professionalising the commission as promised by the current Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde when he was appointed.
He said that presently, “new and old staff of the commission are regularly subjected to polygraph test in a determined effort to ensure that they do not deviate from the core values of the commission, which are courage, professionalism and integrity.
Fortunately, public and institutional confidence are being restored in the EFCC with relationship with international law enforcement organisations and development partners, which witnessed a meltdown a few years ago experiencing a rebound.
In the last one year, the commission hosted “investigators and prosecutors from Zambia, United States, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, World Bank and African Development Bank, he stated.
The Spokesperson warned members of the public to beware of impersonators who have been going about defrauding officials of both private and public organisations.