Thursday, April 28, 2011

EFCC probes corrupt govs ahead of May 29

OPERATIVES of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday stormed the various states of the federation to wrap up investigations into corruption against serving governors and state officials ahead of May 29 when they will hand over and lose immunity against prosecution.

A reliable source within the commission informed The Guardian that 15 teams were constituted by the EFCC Chairman, Mrs. Farida Waziri, to carry out the assignment, especially in states where government officials had earlier been invited by the commission. The mandate, according to him, is to investigate officials who are believed to have used state funds for elections.

“Operatives were despatched to the states to wrap up investigations and compile case diaries against officials believed to have dipped their hands into state funds especially to prosecute elections,” he said, adding that the EFCC operatives were given a deadline of completing their assignments ahead of the May 29 handover date when some of the governors would have lost their immunity.

“Some states where their chief executives are likely to face EFCC operatives are those where some of their officials had already been invited, interrogated or being prosecuted now for graft charges,” he said.

The teams, according to him, were constituted about three weeks ago to gather sufficient evidence in states where the EFCC had been investigating fraud allegations against some governors and their officials. The teams left Abuja yesterday.

However, the commission’s spokesman, Femi Babafemi, said he was not sure whether any team travelled to states for investigations but hinted at EFCC’s interest in prosecutions after the elections.   “What I am sure of now is that the commission is set to increase the tempo of its activities now that the elections are over,” he said.
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