Speaker of the HOuse of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal has threatened to arrest two former EFCC chairpersons. Nuhu Ribadu and Farida Waziri over their failure to appear before a house committee investigating the whereabouts of N2 trillion in asset seizures and forfeitures which occured during the tenure of the former EFCC helmsmen.
Speaking at a three-day investigative public hearing by the House Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes on all the seized assets, Tambuwal said a situation of mismanagement of such monies was unacceptable.
He said, “I have learnt that between 2003 and now, the EFCC has confiscated over 200 mansions and large sums of money through 46 forfeiture court orders.
“These landed properties, monies, and business concerns which were estimated to be worth in excess of N2 trillion, included bank accounts, shares in blue chip companies, exotic vehicles, fuel stations, holdings, warehouses and shopping malls among others.
“However, there have been many reported cases of vandalism, improper storage, abandonment and waste. We have reports that some of these properties have fallen into disrepair and that some cannot even be accounted for.
“We cannot allow a situation whereby over 400 cars seized through the diligence of the EFCC for instance will continue to rot away.
“We have a vicarious responsibility to ensure that assets seized through forfeiture court orders are prudently and carefully managed to avoid waste and to ensure they are maximally disposed of for the benefit of the public.
“It is not enough to just seize assets, we need to ensure that they are quickly utilised as part of the restitution for the original crime,” Tambuwal who was represented by Deputy Leader of the House, Leo Ogor, said.
Chairman of the committee, Adam Jagaba, said the hearing was sequel to the resolution of the House on February 28 where the committee was mandated to carry out the investigation and report back within four weeks.
“I am sounding this warning to those we have summoned and refused to come, according to Section 89 (c) of the Constitution, we have the legislative power, in fact we can declare you wanted, including other agencies that are not here.
“You cannot treat the National Assembly the way you want. They all have up to Wednesday this week to appear by 10 a.m.,” Jagaba threatened.