Estimated Reading Time: 2
Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Abdularasheed Bawa says former Abia State governor, Orji Uzor Kalu will be prosecuted by the agency all over again.
Bawa disclosed this on Thursday while addressing journalists during the weekly ministerial chat at the State House in Abuja.
Recall that Kalu, a former governor of Abia, was released from prison about a year ago, following his conviction by a federal high court in Lagos.
He was sentenced to a maximum of 12 years imprisonment for N7.65bn fraud, among other multiple sentences ranging from 3 years to 5 years on 27 counts.
Kalu alongside Ude Jones Udeogu, a former director of finance and account of Abia state were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 36 counts of money laundering. they were jailed in December 2019
But they appealed the verdict of the court. A unanimous decision by a seven-man panel of Justices led by Justice Amina Augie, held that the Federal High Court in Lagos acted without jurisdiction when it convicted Kalu.
The EFCC Boss also gave insight into ongoing prosecutions, challenges, and increasing cases of financial crimes since his assumption into office 100 days ago.
He 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