The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has accused the senate of displaying public ignorance about the profile of recovered assets.
The anti-graft agency said this in reaction to the allegation that property seized from suspected pension thieves had been shared.
Emmanuel Paulker, chairman of the senate ad hoc committee investigating the reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Maina, had alleged that 222 houses recovered by Maina task force was shared under the watch of EFCC.
“The task force headed by Maina in the course discharging the mandate recovered about 222 houses investment, portfolio, property from pension suspects in Abuja and other major cities across the country,” Paulker had said.
“The total recovered assets seized from allegedly pension thieves were reported to have been allegedly shared by some interest groups.”
But Wilson Uwujaren, spokesman of the EFCC, said the anti-graft agency did not “receive a single property” from Maina.
Uwujaren said all the pension assets in the commission’s inventory were products of the agency’s independent investigation.
“The attention of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has been drawn to comments attributed to the chairman of the senate ad hoc committee investigating the controversial reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Miana, Senator Emmanuel Paulker, alleging that officials of the commission shared 222 property which Maina’s panel seized from pension fund thieves,” the statement read.
“This sweeping allegation, coming from a senate committee is disturbing more so as no attempt was made to verify the information from the commission. The EFCC was never invited by the committee and given the opportunity to educate it on the status of assets seized from suspected pension thieves; yet the committee was comfortable to scandalise the EFCC with the public disclosure of unverified claims by unknown interests.
“For the avoidance of doubt, there are no 222 properties anywhere that were shared by anybody. The EFCC did not receive a single property from Abdulrasheed Maina.”
The EFCC spokesman said if Maina or any government official witnessed the sharing of any recovered pension assets by any official of the EFCC, they should be willing to name the official, the assets involved; and where the “sharing” took place.
“As far as the EFCC is concerned, there is no controversy regarding the status of assets recovered from suspected pension thieves,” EFCC said.
“The record of all the recovered assets from both the police pension and the pension office of the office of the head of the civil service of the federation as well as their current status are intact, and have been communicated to the relevant organs of government.
“However, in view of the consistent display of public ignorance about the profile of recovered assets by even those who should know, it is important to state that it is impossible for anybody to share a property that is subject of interim forfeiture by court.
“Of all the property seized from pension fraud suspects, it is only properties that are linked to John Yusuf, who was convicted under a plea bargain arrangement that had been forfeited permanently and handed to government. All the others, with the exception of Brifina Hotel, are subject of interim forfeiture. And the cases are ongoing in courts.”