Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Nigeria EFCC Swoops on Ogun, Arrests 7 State Officials

EFCC Swoops on Ogun, Arrests 7 Officials

By Olawale Olaleye, 07.20.2010
Nigeria ThisDay

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday followed up on its allegations of fresh corruption charges against the Ogun State government by arresting seven top government functionaries.

EFCC which stormed Abeokuta, the state capital, at about 3.30pm arrested top officials who are said to be working both in the accounts department and governor’s office with bagloads of documents recovered across board.

Those arrested are Ganiyu Saheed, Badejo Ajiola, Ogunseye Azeezat, Ibrahim Oladele, Odunlami Toyin, Shola Okanlawon and Modupe Akinola.

They have since been moved to the Lagos office of the commission where they were debriefed. They will be moved to Abuja this morning for further investigations.

EFCC officials who gave hints of the development said it is not impossible that more arrests would still be made within the week. But they claimed the arrests made yesterday was an indication that significant progress would be recorded in the ongoing investigation.

When THISDAY spoke with EFCC Spokesperson, Mr. Femi Babafemi, he confirmed the arrest of the seven officials and the fact that they have been detained.

But he would not give any more information as investigations have just begun into the charges.

Responding to the development however, the state’s Commissioner for Information, Mr. Sina Kawonise confirmed that the arrests were made but stood his ground that there is nothing to it.

He insisted that it is a regular trend that resurfaces whenever elections are around the corner.

“There is no problem because at the end of the day, there is nothing to it. That is why I directed you back to 2004/2005. Some of the newspapers that reported the stories then have apologised. But like I said earlier, more will come but nothing will come out of it,” he said, noting that they had also given out documents to the media in defence of the allegations.

THISDAY had reported that the EFCC has widened its on-going investigation of corruption charges in the state and is currently looking at over 40 fresh cases of graft.

The report also said fresh arrests would be made in connection with the latest development.

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