The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ilorin Zonal Office on Friday presented the sum of N111,428,891, being cash recovered from suspected looters in the state, to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazak.
The money, according to the anti-graft agency, was recovered from former political office holders, a traditional ruler and top civil servants in the state.
EFCC Zonal Head in Ilorin, Isyaku Sharu, who handed over the looted cash to AbdulRazaq, said the Commission, which began its operation in the state in February this year, had secured 29 convictions and recovered over N500 million in both assets and cash.
He disclosed that the recovery was made from suspected state treasury looters, who allegedly misappropriated landed properties of Harmony Holdings while others diverted funds meant for micro small and medium credit scheme.
Sharu expressed the readiness of the anti-graft agency to support the state government in profiling and keeping track on political office holders and key officers, warning that it would no longer be business as usual.
AbdulRazaq, who lauded the EFCC for the recovery, said the fund would be reinvested in the social investment programme of his administration, a bill of which is before the state House of Assembly.
He pledged that his administration would not use the money to award contracts. Rather, he said that it would be well utilised to lift thousands of people out of poverty, adding that his government was replicating the Federal Government’s social investment programme in Kwara state in fulfilment of his promise to reduce the menace of poverty in the state.
He urged the people of the state to join hands with the anti-graft agency in the fight against graft and corruption, describing the agency as a partner in progress.
He said: “When I told people I was coming, they said I was going into the lion’s den, and I said no, EFCC belongs to us. We don’t need to be afraid of them unless we have something to hide. The federal government acted very well by supporting the EFCC.
“People will now realise that the seed money for the programme was part of the money EFCC recovered, that the Federal Government used as seed money for the Social Investment Programme. Our Social Investment Bill is in the state House of Assembly. It is about to be passed. We are also emulating the Federal Government in that.
“By the special grace of God, this money will go into social investment programme of the state. We are not going to waste it. We are not going to misappropriate it. We will make sure it goes to where it is needed mostly. And those that are benefiting will know that it is EFCC recovered money so that they will pay back the money diligently when they get it as loan to help them in their businesses.”