EFCC grills Ekweremadu over allegedly undeclared assets

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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) detectives yesterday grilled Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu for eight hours over 22 allegedly undeclared assets.

The assets, suspected to have been acquired with illicit funds, are located in Abuja, the United States, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

There were indications last night that Ekweremadu might be granted an administrative bail because his interrogation will take a while.

According to a source in EFCC, the Deputy Senate President got to EFCC at about 9am and, shortly after, was moved to a room to interact with detectives.

As at 6.27pm, Ekweremadu was still with the EFCC.

A source in the commission said: “Our detectives have been interacting with Ekweremadu in the last eight hours on some assets traced to him.

“So far, he has cooperated with our team. But he has more allegations to clarify. We will still be interacting intermittently with him.”

Asked if Ekweremadu will be detained, the source added: “Not at all; we are likely to release him later after the first stage of interaction has been completed.”

“We may however seek a court order to place some of these assets under Interim Forfeiture.”

In a suit, the Federal Government, through the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, has claimed that about 22 assets were undeclared by Ekweremadu

The properties are at No. 11, Evans Enwerem Street, Apo Legislative Quarters, Apo, Abuja; Plot 2633 Kyami, Abuja; Housing Estate (Plot 1106 CRD, Cadastral Zone 07-07, Lugbe, Abuja; Plot 2782 Asokoro Extension, Abuja, and Houses at Citi Park Estate, Gwagwalada, Abuja.

Others are: Plot 1474 Cadastral Zone BD6, Mabushi, Abuja; Congress Court, Abuja; Flat 1, Block D25, Athletics Street, (24th Street) Games Village, Abuja; Plot 66, 64 Crescent, Gwarimpa Estate, Abuja.

In the United State are: 4507 Stella Street, Bellavida Estate Kissime, Florida, USA; 2747 Club Cortile Circle, Kissime, Florida, and 2763 Club Cortile Circle, Kissime, Florida.

The properties in London include Flat 4 Varsity Court, Harmer Street, WIH 4NW, London; and 52 Ayleston Avenue, NW6 7AB, London.

Those in Dubai are: Room 1903, The Address Hotel, Downtown Dubai; The Address Boulevard, 3901, Dubai; two Flats of Burij Side Boulevard (The Signature), Dubai; Emirate Gardens Apartment No. EGG1/1/114, Dubai; Emirate Gardens Apartment No. EGG1/115, Dubai; Apartment No. DFB/12/B 1204, Park Towers, Dubai; Flat 3604, MAG214, Dubai; and Villa No 148, Maeen 1, The Lakes Emirates Hills, Dubai.

UAE ’ll assist Nigeria to fight corruption, envoy tells Magu

The new envoy of the United Arab Emirates to Nigeria Fahad Al Taffat yesterday assured that his country will assist the EFCC to fight corruption

Al Taffat gave the pledge during a visit to the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu.

A statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren said the envoy claimed that he was at the EFCC to acquaint himself with the work of the agency.

He said he had been “fully apprised of the tremendous work of the Mohammadu Buhari administration in fighting corruption and violent extremism before he arrived in Nigeria.

The statement said: “Ambassador Al Taffat promised everything possible to assist the EFCC. “Whatever you need, just put it in writing, I will press for it. The UAE can assist you in the areas of capacity building, technical support and intelligence sharing”, he said.

He assured that his country already had a robust anti- money laundering framework, with an anti- money laundering unit domiciled at the Central Bank.

Magu thanked the envoy for the visit and assured him that he would return the gesture in two weeks.

He also briefed the envoy on recent engagements between the EFCC and the UAE that culminated in the signing of a number of bilateral agreements that have increased the tempo of cooperation between Nigeria and the UAE on corruption, money laundering and organized crime.

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