EFCC recovers N115b from bank debtors

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has recovered N115billion from bank debtors, it was learnt yesterday.

Besides, the commission is making moves to extradite former Chief Executive and Executive Vice-Chairman of Intercontinental Bank, Mr. Erastus Akingbola, from the United Kingdom.

Chairman of EFCC Mrs. Farida Waziri made the disclosure yesterday in Benin City, the Edo State capital, at the “Prof. Ambrose Alli Annual Lecture/Awards” organised by the Visionary Leadership Development Services (VLDS).

The late Alli was Governor of old Bendel State between 1979 and 1983 under the platform of Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN).

Delivering a lecture entitled: “Leadership and the Challenges of Good Governance in Nigeria”, Mrs. Waziri urged the National Assembly to pass the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill to make leaders accountable.

Her words: “The world over, it is servant-leaders who have made the difference in the lives of their people and advanced their governments over time through vigorous and sacrificial pursuit of positive change with great respect for acceptable societal values.

“Effective and productive leadership must be seen to be transparent and accountable to the citizenry. This increases goodwill among the people and the chances of elected leaders succeeding in their endeavors.”

Mrs. Waziri noted that government must be service-oriented and promote effective delivery of public services to enhance local and small-scale economic development to better the lot of the youth and the poor.

The anti-corruption czar said the staff strength of the EFCC was 1, 500, hence the need for Nigerians to take ownership of the fight against corruption.

“Until we all see the fight against corruption as our fight, the EFCC will loose the fight. We must all stand up and say no to corruption,” Mrs. Waziri said.

She said transparency and accountability begins from a credible electoral system and processes that respect the will of the people.

Former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu, who was represented by the Chairman of the Editorial Board of The Nation, Mr. Sam Omatseye, said the late Alli stood for electoral integrity.

“Alli was able to become governor of Bendel State because the votes counted. He gave the people what the people gave to him by implementing his party’s manifestos. That is why Tinubu is always for electoral integrity in this country”.

Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Osarodion Ogie, said the decisions Alli took as governor were for the good of all.

He said his administration would work towards meeting the people’s expectations.

National Publicity Secretary of the Action Congress (AC) Alhaji Lai Mohammed urged the EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies to fight political corruption.

He said corruption encompasses rigging of candidate into office, suppression of peoples’ vote and lack of internal democracy.

The daughter of the late Alli, Mrs. Rosemary Alli-Suberu, said her father was jailed for allegedly stealing N983, 000 by the military government of Gen. Muhammed Buhari.

She said her father was granted conditional pardon after the money was paid by Chief Gabriel Igbinedion.

Mrs. Alli-Suberu urged the Federal Government to look into its archives to establish if her father had been granted pardon.

The President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Pastor Ayo Orisetjafor, advised the EFCC to display names of bank debtors and those being prosecuted for corruption.

President of VLDS Mr. Joseph Anetor said the yearly lecture was to promote best practices in leadership.