By Ibraheem Solaudeen.
The Zonal Head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Kwara State, Isyaku Sharu, on Wednesday revealed that former governors of the state between 2003 and 2018 spent a total of N15 billion, which they collected as security votes, to settle security personnel who used to hang around the governors.
The commission’s zonal head made the disclosure in Ilorin, the state capital during the 26th edition of the Media Parliament Lecture of the Kwara State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists.
He stated that the Ilorin zonal office of the anti-graft agency was established as a result of persistent complaints about financial crimes in the state.
“The complaints became so loud towards the end of 2018 that the Acting Executive Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, had to create the Ilorin zonal office of the commission to look into the long standing persistent economic and financial crimes issues in the state.
“It is noteworthy that Kwara State is one of the first states in Nigeria created as far back as May 27, 1967. Although the state has had several leaders, it has over the years not maximised its potentials largely due to the alleged cases of mismanagement and embezzlement of States resources”, Sharu said.
He noted that although the people of Kwara were sometimes indisposed to exposing the corrupt individuals among them, the Ilorin zonal office of the EFCC had secured 26 convictions, recovered several properties ranging from hotels, plazas, residential houses, fleet of cars and hundreds of millions of naira in cash, which were all forfeited to the Federal Government.
The top official also mentioned that the agency had curtailed the activities of cyber criminals in Kwara and other states within the zone.
He beckoned on journalists to assist the EFCC in sensitizing the people on positive values, which abhor illicit and fraudulent tendencies.