Oil Subsidy Scam: EFCC Recovers N5bn From Fraudulent Marketers
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it has recovered about N5 billion from persons and organisations indicted for fuel subsidy fraud.
The EFCC Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, made this known during a town hall meeting on fuel subsidy organised by a group, Africa Network of Economic and Environment Justice (ANEEJ), in collaboration with Justice for All (J4A) in Abuja.
According to Uwujaren, the EFCC is currently prosecuting 13 different oil subsidy cases, including investigations to bring other indicted persons or companies to justice.
“Investigation and prosecution of fuel subsidy cases have not been too easy for us but we are resolute in our determination to ensure that we push all those cases to logical conclusion,” he stated.
While underlining the importance the commission places on transparency and corruption issues in the oil sector, the Head, Media and Publicity said the commission presently had a full fledge section charged with investigation of oil subsidy matters and other extractive industries issues.
He added: “As a commission, we welcome any initiative that draws public attention to the monumental fraud in the oil subsidy regime,” in order to ensure that justice is done to the Nigerian people
While speaking at the event, the Director of ANEEJ, Mr. David Ugolor, said the purpose of the town hall meeting was to review how the anti-corruption agencies and the judiciary hadfared so far in the investigation and prosecution of indicted persons and companies in the fuel subsidy regime and to also agree on measures needed to be taken to put pressure on the federal government to do more in bringing indicted persons and or companies to justice.
According to Ugolor, “It is widespread that payments of oil subsidy to oil marketers were inflated and several marketers got paid for doing nothing and expenses charged to subsidy account.”
He emphasised the need to amend the EFCC Act to create “special courts” for prosecution of corruption cases.
Speaking in the same vein, Otsemaye Newton called for more synergy among the anti-corruption agencies and the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), in investigating and prosecuting oil subsidy and other economic and financial crime cases.
Another guest speaker, Peter Ritchie who spoke on “Fuel Subsidy Fraud Background” criticised the manner in which public funds are being siphoned and called for prudence in the management of Petroleum Support Fund.
Ritchie likewise stressed the need for financial independence of anti-corruption agencies to further strengthen the war against graft in Nigeria.
He further commended the EFCC for the strides recorded in the prosecution of oil subsidy and other corruption cases in Nigeria.