The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, July 17, 2019, handed over a property located at Plot 1386, Uda Crescent, off Aminu Kano Crescent, near Glo Mobile Network, Wuse 2 Abuja, to the Voice of Nigeria, VON. The edifice is one of the properties seized from and finally forfeited to the federal government by the late Chief of Air Staff, Alex Badeh.
According to the Acting Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu who was represented at the occasion by the Secretary to the Commission, Barrister Ola Olukoyede, the hand over is a testament that the fight against corruption is real. “If we are able to fight corruption in Nigeria concertedly, we would have fought 70% of Nigeria’s problem”, Magu said.
Chairman of the Board of VON, Ibrahim Buba and DG, VON, Osita Okechukwu led other management staff of VON at the handover ceremony.
The building becomes the Corporate Headquarters of VON, which until now, was squatting in its ‘parent’s house’, the Ministry of Information, popularly known as Radio House.
Handing over the building to VON, chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, who was represented by the Secretary to the commission, Mr Ola Olukoyede, said that the property was recovered from a “fraudulent Nigerian” who had stolen from the common wealth.
“But the EFCC has been able to go after him and recovered this property and President Muhammadu Buhari had directed it should be given to Federal Government agency.
“That is what we have done by handing over this property to VON.
“The final forfeiture of the building to VON has clearly shown that the administration of President Buhari is very serious about the war against corruption.
“It will also send a signal across to the critics who will never see anything good in the war against corruption that this war is real and it has come to stay.
“Whosoever has stolen common wealth of Nigeria, EFCC will go after them and we will recover the property for the use of all Nigerians,” Magu said.
When asked to disclose the name of the “fraudulent Nigerian”, representative of the chairman said the forum was not for revelation of names.
“What you need to know is that it was recovered from a fraudulent Nigerian.
“Very soon, we will put the document to the public and you will see the process that led to the recovery of this property.
“The battle for the recovery of the building had been on for two to three years; this is the result you are seeing today,” he said.
Earlier, Director-General, VON, Mr Osita Okechukwu, who was visibly elated, thanked the management of EFCC for the gesture.
“VON has become a major beneficiary of one of the fruits of President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-graft war, courtesy of the EFCC.
“Without EFCC’s stringent war against corruption, VON could have remained a squatter, 28 years after relocating to the Federal Capital Territory.
“It pained me that since 1991 that VON relocated to Abuja, it remained a tenant, till now.
“This is sequel to what we call an accident of fate; accident of fate for the fact that what is called the Yar’Adua Centre was the original plot of land in the masterplan of Abuja, that was allocated to VON.
“It was given to a quintessential soldier, a democrat of blessed memory, a man that fought for democracy, Gen. Shehu Musa Yar’Adua.
“But today, we have been compensated by the Federal Government with the bequeatal of this building.
“We remain grateful to the President and the EFCC,” he said.