Why investigation on Betta Edu’s case is taking long– EFCC


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said it is not in a hurry to close its investigation on the alleged money laundering case involving the suspended Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Betta Edu.

The Chairman of the anti-graft agency, Mr Ola Olukoyede also spoke on the ongoing investigations of former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika and others while fielding questions from journalists at the EFCC Headquarters, Jabi, Abuja.

The commission said it is probing over 50 accounts in the Edu’s case and that it is willing to do a thorough job.

“For each account, we write letters to banks and these banks take two to three weeks to respond. We interview. It takes time.

“There are agencies you write letters to and they won’t respond until you go there and threaten to arrest.

“Do you know what it means to sit down and investigate 50 accounts one after the other and diligently?

He continued, “I don’t know why you people have singled out only Betta Edu. As I am talking to you now, we have established so much in that place, not only Betta Edu.

“What I am doing is not about Betta Edu, it’s not about any man, I have told you before that it’s about the system that will allow someone to access the agency’s account and roll out N7 billion under one hour without assigning it to any specific project.

“I told you before that the people we suspended, if we replace them by now, even if we brought saints, within 24 hours, the saints will be contaminated. It is not about any man. It is about the system. It is the system I am investigating.

“So let us understand how these things work and have that mindset. If we had gone after Betta Edu and hundreds of people were stealing money, do you think it started during Betta Edu?”

He added “Every single money that was allocated in that ministry is what we are investigating. I told you before that we are investigating over 50 accounts. You must understand some of these processes.

“There are still people who are innocent victims. I will now begin to mention their names not because I want to impress Nigerians.

“You must also respect the lives of these people. I didn’t come out to say I have indicted persons but what I’ve come out to say is that I’ve recovered amount.

“So give us time. We are just five months into this investigation. There are some correspondences we are expecting from abroad.

“Some money was traced to some accounts that if we did not do diligent work, by the time they rushed you to court, they would say ‘EFCC your head is not correct’.

“If this investigation on Nigeria is going to take me one or two years to do, I will do it. My sister spoke about one lawyer, who went to court and said EFCC is an illegal body. This is the thing that corruption does to our conscience in this country,” he added.

He also commented on the alleged money laundering cases involving former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

Olukoyede said, “There are things that we ordinarily cannot release to the public.

‘It is not about Hadi Sirika. Like I told you, there is nothing personal. It is about the system, the process, it’s about national interest.

“So don’t make it look like EFCC is running after Hadi Sirika. No, it’s a system.

“If you ask me that are we investigating issues that have to do with the issue of aviation, l will tell you yes, we are investigating it. When the time comes for you to know the details of our report, I’ll tell you. But for now, it is premature for me to tell you.”

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