Adelani Adepegba, Abuja and Alexander
Okere
There are strong indications that the
Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission is monitoring the bank
accounts
of various states to prevent
outgoing governors from looting their
state coffers.
It was gathered that the bank accounts
of many states , including that of Imo,
Kano, Kwara, Lagos and others , might
have been placed under special watch .
Saturday PUNCH learnt that the
monitoring of the states ’ bank
accounts was meant to prevent them
from being depleted by governors.
Sources informed our correspondent
on Friday that the commission was
particularly focusing on outgoing
governors who might want to siphon
public funds before leaving office .
The action was sequel to intelligence
report about suspicious financial
activities by top officials of the
concerned states .
This is happening barely one week
after the arrest of the Imo State acting
Accountant- General , Mr Uzoho Casmir ,
on allegations of withdrawing
N1 .050 bn from the state coffers for
vote- buying on the instruction of
Governor Rochas Okorocha .
Uzoho’ s arrest on Thursday last week
followed intelligence report that the
governor allegedly intended to use the
money for vote - buying in favour of his
preferred candidate in the March 16
governorship elections.
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The anti- graft agency was also said to
have uncovered about N 1 bn cash
withdrawal by the Kwara State
Government, a week before the
February 23 presidential and National
Assembly elections.
Investigations by the EFCC operatives
revealed that the money was
withdrawn from the state’s account
domiciled with Sterling Bank.
Confiding in Saturday PUNCH, a
source said , “ Following intelligence
reports that some state governments
were looting public funds to induce
voters during the elections, the EFCC
set up a special team which has
successfully tracked the financial
improprieties by Imo, Kano and Kwara
states .
“ The agency is also monitoring the
accounts of many other states to
prevent suspicious withdrawals and
transactions .”
The acting EFCC spokesman , Tony
Orilade , did not deny or confirm the
surveillance on the bank accounts of
state governments as he simply said
that part of the responsibility of the
Commission was to prevent
corruption.