The Kwara state government says it has received N263 million recovered by the Economics and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from some officials of the previous administration.
In October, the EFCC presented about N111 million, said to to be looted fund belonging to the state, to the governor.
In a statement on Tuesday, Rafiu Ajakaye, chief press secretary to the governor, said Isyaku Sharu, EFCC Ilorin zonal head, handed over the cash to AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, governor of the state.
According to the statement, the total amount of looted funds recovered and handed over to the state government is N374m.
Ajakaye added that the total recoveries by the Kwara office of the EFCC in the past one year are in excess of N8bn worth of assets and cash.
During the presentation, the EFCC zonal head said the latest recoveries were majorly from the money looted from the Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KW-IRS) and local government fund by some former government officials.
“These alleged looters siphoned from Kwara State Internal Revenue Service (KWIRS) and 16 local government areas,” Sharu said.
“About five billion naira was allegedly siphoned from KWIRS and shared in the ratio of 30/70 by some notable individuals in the state through their cronies.
“The mandate given to us to conduct a holistic and all-inclusive cleanup of over two decades barefaced fraud and pen robbery on the good people of the zone is achieved. This is evident from the overwhelming success achieved in terms of convictions and recovery of assets.”
He noted that the zonal office has secured 48 convictions and recovered at least N8.5bn worth of assets and money.
Responding, AbdulRazaq commended the anti-graft body for the recovery and the handing over of the looted funds.
He thanked the EFCC, saying the state had received over N300m looted fund from the agency. He promised that his administration will be judicious in utilising the fund.
“We are quite excited for getting this money. This is a huge amount of money to be released to us at this time. It is mind-boggling that the situation has come to this,” AbdulRazaq said.
“Anytime arrest is made, some persons would rain abuses on the EFCC and even the state government but the money keeps coming in. Yet they claim nothing was stolen.
“We thank the EFCC. So far, we have got over N300m and it is a continuous exercise. On our part, we will be judicious in utilising the fund. We will always remember that one day, we will leave this position we are today and we will be made accountable too. That is why we have to be responsible in what we do now.”
The governor said the over N111m earlier recovered and released to the state formed the seed money for the social security programme now underway for the “benefit of the poor” in Kwara.
“The presence of the EFCC here makes everybody sit up and being responsible and brought about change in perception, dynamism and thinking of the civil service and the entire citizens. We must all come together to kill corruption,” he said.
AbdulRazaq also said the state is currently paying N35m monthly to the federal government because the former administration collected N2bn loan for small businesses but “mismanaged the money”.
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