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NEWS FLASH: New EFCC Chairman Promises To Reopen 25 Abandoned Cases And Sets To Fight Former Governors, Others

In an effort to address the persistent problem of multibillion-dollar diversion and corruption cases involving former senators, governors, and ministers, Ola Olukoyede, the recently appointed chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is preparing to take on an astounding 25 cases that have been neglected. The Senate confirmed Olukoyede as the EFCC chairman, a mere four months after Abdulrasheed Bawa, the previous chairman, was suspended

The country is in a condition of suspense as a result of these cases’ protracted proceedings, some of which are still under investigation and others of which are mired in legal limbo

These high-profile cases include very high financial stakes—a whopping N772.2 billion and an additional $2.2 billion are purportedly lost to money laundering, fund diversion, and theft

These investigations involve a number of notable former governors, including the immediate past governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi; his predecessor, Ayo Fayose; former government of Zamfara State and current Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle; and former governor of Enugu State, Chimaroke Nnamani

The EFCC is also investigating a number of prominent people, including Diezani Alison-Madueke, the former minister of petroleum resources, and former national security adviser Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.)

The invitation of Kayode Fayemi by the EFCC over claims of N4 billion misappropriation during his time as governor was one instance that attracted a lot of attention. An unknown group filed a petition against him for money laundering

Similarly, Bello Matawalle, the former governor of Zamfara State, was accused of embezzling N70 billion from the state coffers

When he claimed that the former EFCC Chairman had demanded a $2 million bribe, there was a commotion because the EFCC claimed that Matawalle was being investigated for a N70 billion fraud. The prosecution against former Enugu State governor Chimaroke Nnamani regarding an alleged N5.3 billion fraud was dismissed in 2018

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The EFCC stated that it intended to bring new accusations against Nnamani and Sunday Anyaogu, his former assistant, but it was unclear how these new charges would be handled

Abdullahi Adamu, the immediate past chairman of the All Progressives Congress and a former governor of Nasarawa State, was also the subject of the investigations. He was charged with N15 billion in fraud between 1999 and 2007, the year he was elected governor

Rabiu Kwankwaso, a former governor of Kano State and presidential candidate, was questioned by the EFCC regarding the purported non-remittance of N10 billion in pension money; the results of the interview were not made public

Despite a court order blocking the investigation, the EFCC attempted to look into Peter Odili, the former governor of Rivers State, for suspected N100 billion fraud in 2012. It was unclear whether the matter would be reopened in the end

Theodore Orji, the former governor of Abia State, and his sons Chinedu and Ogbonna were the subject of an inquiry in 2021 on allegations of embezzlement and money laundering totaling N551 billion. He was charged by the EFCC in 2018 with mismanaging N27 billion that the state had been given for the development of small and medium-sized businesses

Former Gombe State governor Danjuma Goje was accused of N5 billion worth of fraud. The case was first handled by the EFCC and then transferred to the Attorney General’s office

The appeal court was still handling the case. Aliyu Wammako, the former governor of Sokoto State, was indicted in court but remained uncharged despite the EFCC’s allegations that he had diverted N15 billion

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Timipre Sylva, the former governor of Bayelsa State, was accused of laundering around N19.2 billion through three corporations, which resulted in the seizure of 48 of his properties. The matter remained unresolved. The list continues, with other former governors and officials pending investigations and trials at different phases

It is anticipated that the EFCC’s new leadership will pursue these cases through to their natural conclusions. It is clear that the EFCC has an enormous work ahead of it in pursuing these cases, which have entailed large sums of money and presented a number of difficulties

The country awaits Olukoyede’s appointment as Chairman with great eagerness, wondering if justice will be done in these long-running cases when they finally come to a close. Olukoyede and the EFCC seem committed and motivated to fight corruption and bring those responsible to justice in the face of this enormous task

They must continue to combat corruption on several fronts if the country is to see transparency, accountability, and justice

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