- “the gesture demonstrates the commission’s stance on justice for all.” – EFCC
Two years after falling for the threatics of acquaintances and losing a staggering amount in the process, Emmanuel Onah, a trader based in Onitsha, Anambra State, is now a happy man again following the recovery of the lost fund by Nigeria’s foremost antigraft agency.
The money, totalling N67.5 million, has now been returned to the trader, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said.
The money was recovered by the zonal office of the anti-graft agency in Enugu through a non-conviction based forfeiture, the commission’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed in a statement last Thursday.
According to the statement, Onah, in 2019, transferred N75, 760,540 to the duo of Tega Esinone and Obiajulu Umeagukwu for onward transmission to his business partner, Crecedor Industrial Co. Ltd in Hong Kong.
However, Instead of facilitating the transaction between Onah and his Hong Kong business associate, the duo cornered the money and diverted it to their private account. Onah resorted to involving the commission after efforts to get them to return his money yielded no result.
“The suspects converted the money to their own use. After efforts to recover his money from the suspects failed, Onah petitioned the EFCC,” Mr Uwujaren stated.
The statement added that the commission investigated the matter, and subsequently initiated a non-conviction based forfeiture process.
According to the commission, the process brought about a December 1, 2020 ruling by a judge of the Federal High Court in Enugu, Ibrahim Buba, ordering the forfeiture of the sum of N67, 522,831.55 in a new generation bank account belonging to Tega Esinone, to the victim.
Presenting the cheques to the victim Thursday, Oshodi Johnson, head of EFCC’s Enugu office, said “the gesture demonstrates the commission’s stance on justice for all.”
Johnson also said the the commission will continue to deliver on its mandate of ridding the country of corruption and malfeasance.
“EFCC is for everybody and all that the EFCC stands for is justice. We will continue to work within its mandate to ensure that Nigeria becomes a nation that is corrupt free. We will not rest until this is achieved,” Johnson added.
He admonished fraudsters to desist from their devilish and nefarious activities, adding that the commission remained determined and relentless in its efforts to expose, apprehend and prosecute them.
He added that it was only a matter of time before the long arms of law would catch up with them if the continue with their vicious and unscrupulous activities.
In his remarks after receiving the cheques, Mr Onah expressed gratitude to the commission for helping to recover his money.
“Honestly, I am so overjoyed because today is a day of smile. I came to you people in tears but today my heart is full of joy and my face is full of smiles. I am now a living testimony that the EFCC works and they can bring justice even to the common man,” he said.
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