By G9ija

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC), Lagos Zonal Office, said it secured 257 convictions including politically exposed persons in one year.

The convictions were secured in various courts in Lagos Stats.

The Commission also said it recovered about  N14.9 billion, $5,723, and €31,500 in the same period under review.

The convictions and recoveries are contained in a statement signed by the EFCC Lagos Zonal Head, Mr Muhammed Rabo, and released to newsmen by Mr Ayo Oyewole, Head, Public Affairs of the zone on Thursday in Lagos.

According to the EFCC Lagos Zonal Head, the convictions and recoveries are recorded between May 2019 and early June 2020.

The EFCC Lagos Zone Head also confirmed that the Zone had arrested 1,444 suspects, filed 585 cases in various courts and arraigned no fewer than 300 suspects within the same period.

“Mr Ismaila Mustapha, also known as Mompha, and his conspirator, Hamza Khoudeih,  were arraigned before a Federal High Court in Lagos for various alleged criminal offences during the same period.

“The Lagos Zonal office still has several ongoing high profile cases before the Federal High Courts, Ikoyi and the State High Court, Ikeja, Lagos,” Rabo said.

Rabo expressed the determination of the acting Chairman of the Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu, to tackle financial corruption in the society.

Rabo, further reiterated that the Zone would not relax its independent actions against internet fraudsters, popularly known as “Yahoo Boys”.

“EFCC is prepared more than ever, for robust collaboration with Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in 2020.

“This collaboration led to the arrest of many fraudsters in different parts of the state, some of whom are being prosecuted in courts,” the statement quoted Rabo as saying .

The Lagos Zonal Head in the statement warned perpetrators of computer-related frauds to desist from the undisciplined acts.

“The EFCC has not gone to sleep, but re-strategising, especially in the face of the lockdown occasioned by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic,” Rabo said.

He also decried the activities of impostors who had been swindling unsuspecting members of the society of their assets and property.

Rabo said that EFCC was also aware, through intelligence gathering, that some unscrupulous elements were in the habit of using the names of prominent citizens to defraud unsuspecting Nigeians.

“EFCC frowns at this criminal activity and without any equivocation, anyone caught in the act would face the consequences,” he said.

Rabo also stated that the Commission, contrary to the erroneous belief by Nigerians, was not lagging behind in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

“Recently, the Commission handed over a property forfeited by a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, to Lagos state government to be used as an isolation centre for COVID-19 patients.

“The six flats of three-bedrooms and a boys’ quarter had been forfeited to the Federal Government, following an order of a Federal High Court in Lagos in 2017.

“This gesture is part of the Commission’s efforts in discharging its own social responsibility towards the fight against the spread of Coronavirus.

“The Commission is committed and ready to fight economic and financial crimes, to render any essential services that may be required of it in the fight against covid-19,“ he said.

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