On Monday, spokesman for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wilson Uwujaren, spoke to journalists in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on some prominent Nigerians currently under investigation and trial in court on corruption charges. Excerpts:
On invitation of people on corruption charges and not taken necessary action
I don’t agree with you that. We invite people and we take needed action, otherwise, why I’m I here? We will try to be as proactive as possible. There is no suspect that we have that members of the board will not get to know what we are doing with them.
The one that has to do with Soludo. Yes I said the investigation has more or less indicted him and once investigation indicts somebody, the logical thing to do is to charge that person to court. I also want to appeal that once an investigation is going on and somebody is invited, it does not suppose that the person is guilty, it simply means that they have questions to answer and once they come and they are able to clear themselves, then probably nothing will happen to them again. But if you are indicted by investigation, then the logical thing to do is to take you to court.
When I started, the first thing I said was that the investigation has not been closed on the Soludo matter. No matter the number of years it has been on, we don’t put a timeline on an investigation, we look at all the angles to an investigation, so it is on and not closed.
On former MD of NIM
The former MD of NIM is indicted and the investigation is still ongoing, not closed.
On Senator Bukola Saraki
The case involving Saraki has to do with some of the transactions that took place when he was the Managing Director of default Societe Generale Bank and also some investment that took place while he was the Governor of Kwara state. I have explained that in previous publications and I also want to restate that investigation is still on.
On the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose
On former Governor of Ekiti State, Hon. Ayo Fayose, I think the proper place to direct that question to is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which is the umpire presiding over election, it is not the EFCC. Our job is not to preside over electoral matters. If the umpire believes that the electoral law allows such person standing trial in court even though he has not been convicted to stand for election; that is the job of the INEC, it is not for EFCC to decide.
Fayose for your information is still standing trial on corruption charges before the Federal High Court, that case has been on since 2007, based on Appeal Court’s decision, the matter was transferred to Ekiti state where the crime was committed and I recollect that the last sitting of the court on the matter was about two months ago; so that matter is still fresh and he has not been cleared, the case is still in court but by Nigerian Judicial tradition, we assume that he is innocent until proven guilty in court and we cannot at this moment convict him until the court decides.
On Stella Oduah
I have said it here and i want to say it again that the matter is not closed. She has been invited and she has made statement, she is not the only one that has been invited by the commission. Officials of major parastatals in that ministry have also come here to make statement, so that investigation has reached an advanced stage and I can assure you that in few weeks or months time, you will get to know the details of our findings.
On Oil Subsidy Scam
As we speak, I think there are about 17 oil marketers that are being tried in court and I am talking of persons that are being tried in court over the subsidy scam but if you pass the individuals plus their companies, we have over 40 cases undergoing trial for obtaining subsidy money from the Federal Government without supplying products and those cases are ongoing. They are progressing in court at different stages apart from the one that we have in court, there are also number of investigation that are going on.