Home » EFCC is mishandling fraud case — Oba of Benin

EFCC is mishandling fraud case — Oba of Benin

by John Ojewale
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The Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of facilitating criminality in the country.

The king made the charges when receiving the new EFCC Benin Zonal Director, Effa Okim, at his palace in Benin on Monday.

The monarch highlighted an example of anonymous former palace officials who were let off the hook after being arrested for fraud and turned over to the EFCC in Benin for investigation and prosecution.

He said that certain EFCC agents treated the matter with child gloves, resulting in the release of the perpetrators a few years ago.

The monarch, who did not identify the royal personnel, expressed surprise that the EFCC investigators reportedly brushed blatant evidence of fraud against them (the palace officials) under the carpet.

While tasking the commission to fight crime without fear or favour, Oba Ewuare II said:

“We want to draw your attention to one or two grey areas in your operations.

“No matter how much you try to support the EFFC from the palace, it is very difficult because they seem to listen to other parties. What I have been told is that they take instructions from the highest bidder.

“You know that I have been known for speaking the truth. I was not happy about certain things that happened with your predecessor.

“We get news from everywhere. We try to assist the EFCC. I even wrote a letter to the then-chairman who was removed from office.

“I even sent an emissary to talk to him regarding certain elements in Edo State, particularly the palace.

“How can EFCC operatives, especially, the lady that handled the case I cited earlier, behave like that? If I was asked to comment on her performance, I would score her zero. I do not know if she was doing an EFCC job or just dancing to the tunes of people who were giving her money.

“At the time we were trying to assist EFCC, the report we kept getting was negative and I was not happy about it.”

He did, however, say that Ola Olukayode, the recently appointed chairman of the EFCC, was on the way to greatness if he continued to be faithful to his duty.

He also offered the palace’s assistance for the state government’s efforts to alleviate socioeconomic injustice and reduce vices.

Earlier in his speech, Okim urged the monarch to encourage activism against financial crimes, citing Edo State’s placing second only to Lagos in the country’s financial crime index.

Recalling the historical links between his home state of Cross River and Edo State, he asked for prayers and royal blessings to help him carry out his duties conscientiously.








cc: Punch Ng

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