The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said it recovered N20 billion from corruption suspects in Lagos State alone this week.
EFCC acting-chairman Ibrahim Magu said it also secured 42 convictions in the state between January and July.
Magu, who was represented by EFCC Zonal Head in Lagos, Akaninyene Ezima, spoke in Lagos Wednesday during an anti-corruption walk to mark the African Anti-Corruption Day with the theme ‘Africa unite against corruption.’
The walk was organised in collaboration with civil society organisations including Women Arise for Change Initiative and Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering (GIABA) among others.
Magu said: “This year, the Lagos Zonal office has recorded 42 convictions so far, and we have recovered funds running into billions of naira.
“As at this week, we’ve even made a recovery of about N20 billion. So, while I cannot give you an exact figure right now, I know we’ve recovered tens of billions of naira so far this year. We’ve also recovered sums in foreign currencies, vehicles, etc.
“Some of the convictions we recorded were against ‘Yahoo Yahoo’ fraudsters, and they were not just convicted, their assets were also seized; vehicles, monies etc. So, we’ve really gone a long way and I’m sure before the year ends we’re going to double that.”
Magu reiterated EFCC’s determination to win the war against corruption.
He added: “The depth and gravity of corruption in our country is alarming. This is because our country has one of the most extensive and deeply entrenched cultures of corruption on the African continent, if not universally.
“We are determined to win the corruption war, no matter how long it would take. The commission has traced and recovered illicit funds as well as properties worth billions of dollars.
“This level of corruption is shocking, destructive and totally unacceptable,” he said.
He emphasised that the fight against corruption cannot be won by the EFCC alone, urging all Nigerians, especially judges and judicial officers to support and cooperate with EFCC in the struggle to free Nigeria from corruption.
Women Arise president, Joe Okei-Odumakin, urged Nigerians to speak out against corruption and keep the faith that the country would get better.
Head of GIABA, an anti-money laundering and terrorism agency of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Timothy Melaye, hailed EFCC as a credible partner in the anti-graft war.
He described the country’s low Transparency International ranking as perception, not reality and encouraged Nigerians to not be discouraged by it.
Melaye added: “We have been working together with the EFCC. EFCC has remained one of our key partners not just in Nigeria but across West Africa.
Participants in the event, singing, dancing and displaying banners, walked through parts of Ikoyi, from the agency’s office on Awolowo Way, to Obalende, past Tafawa Balewa Square, back to Awolowo Way.