By Omoh Gabriel, Business Editor
LAGOSâ€”The Chairman ofÂ the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mrs. Farida Waziri, has said the agency has so far recovered over $6 billion from top political and economic operators in the country since its inception with $3.5bn recovered in the last 18 months.
In an interview with the Economic Confidential, an online intelligent magazine, Mrs, Waziri said: â€œThe commission has between inceptions and now, recovered over $6.5bn with a record of over 400 convictions. The agency has taken over 700 cases to court, with a record of over 400 convictions while the rest are still pending before the courts.
The EFCC boss added that in the last 18 months â€œwe have secured over 80 convictions and recovered funds and assets in excess of $3bn. Within the same period, we have taken over 50 high profile cases to court as against the 10 we inherited from my predecessor.â€.
On the recovered debts from bank debtors, Waziri said: â€œWe have also secured temporary forfeiture of assets of some of the bank executives we are prosecuting. These assets alone are worth almost a trillion naira. So, we have done well in that sector.â€
On the over 50 high profile cases in court, she said that they have investigated and filed several fresh high profile cases which include those on former governors and ministers.
Some of them, according to her, include Chief Michael Botmang, former governor, Plateau State; Mr. Boni Haruna, ex-governor, Adamawa State; Senator Rasheed Ladoja, ex-governor, Oyo State; Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, ex-governor, Sokoto State; Alhaji Abdullah Adamu, ex-governor, Nassarawa State; Chief Bode George, former chairman, Nigerian Ports Authority; ChiefÂ Femi Fani-Kayode, ex-minister, Aviation; Dr. Babalola Borisade, ex-minister, Aviation.
Others include Senator Nicholas Ugbane, Mr. Ndudi Elumelu and others in the N5.2 billion REA contract case and Malam Nasir el-Rufai, ex-minister of FCT and foreigners such as Patrick Fernandez, Indian businessman; 13 Phillipinos who recently bagged 65 years imprisonment for oil theft and six Ghanaians who are equally being prosecuted for a similar offence.
The Economic Confidential also discovered that the agency has now developed and deployed EagleClaw, a software that will change the face of fighting cybercrime and 419 in Nigeria and the whole world.
Project EagleClaw, she said, is a software that sniffs out all fraudulent e-mails and monitors them with the option of shutting down such mails. This means that all 419 e-mails emanating from Nigeria will either be monitored or be shut down
On some of the campaigns against her person, the EFCC Chaiperson said: â€œWe have said that before, these attacks are rooted in 2011 elections. Those we are either investigating or prosecuting are the rich and well connected in the society and they want to stand election in 2011. Naturally, we become a threat to their ambition.
So they will go all out to distract us or destabilise the Commission so that they can have an easy passage to public offices in 2011.â€
She added that â€œWe have put the blackmail of the elite or those we call Politically Exposed Persons (PEPS) behind us to face our work squarely.â€