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Foiled arrests: EFFC fortifies security, upgrades depts, zonal commands

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has upgraded its zonal commands and renamed some departments in a move to reposition and fortify its operations.…

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has upgraded its zonal commands and renamed some departments in a move to reposition and fortify its operations.

This is coming on the heels of a foiled attempt by operatives of the commission to arrest a former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, in his Abuja residence on April 17.

During the raid, Bello’s successor, Governor Ahmed Usman Ododo, with the aid of his security aides, reportedly “rescued” him from the arena.

The EFCC chairman, Ola Olukoyede, while speaking on the repositioning of the commission yesterday, said the development was to bolster and fortify the security architecture of the commission.

He added that the security unit of the EFCC had also been upgraded to a department, with a seasoned officer appointed as Director, Security and Chief Security Officer.

“The ongoing restructuring is meant for the repositioning and strengthening of the EFCC to deliver on its assigned mandate optimally,” Olukoyede said.

He announced the renaming of the Departments of Operations and Internal Affairs.

The Department of Operations was renamed Department of Investigations; while the Department of Internal Affairs was renamed Department of Ethics and Integrity.

Departments of Legal and Prosecution and Asset Forfeiture Department and Servicom remain the same.

The anti-graft agency also upgraded all its zonal commands to the status of departments, with each of them headed by a director.

Fourteen new directors were appointed to head the zonal commands.

A new department was also created in the executive chairman’s office, headed by a former commander of the Makurdi zonal command, Friday Ebelo, who also doubles as Director and Coordinator, Special Duties at the headquarters of the commission.

The EFCC chairman also appointed Michael Nzekwe as his new chief of staff.

Nzekwe, a lawyer and investigator, who previously served as the commander of the Ilorin zonal command of the EFCC, is a Course One officer of the commission.

His said the appointment took effect immediately.

Meanwhile, the American International School has explained why it refunded to the EFCC’s coffers, the $760, 000 fee the embattled former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, paid in advance for his children.

The school said it refunded the money to uphold institutional integrity and respect to national institutions in Nigeria.

The EFCC had, on Friday, requested the school to refund the money.

In a statement yesterday, the school’s head, Greg Hughes said: “Contrary to some media reports suggesting that the institution was still in the process of turning over the fund, the school clarified that it had actually done so as recently confirmed by the EFCC chairman.

“Our compliance to remit the fund underscores our commitment to upholding institutional integrity and our respect for the national institutions of Nigeria

“Upon learning that the school fees we accepted in good faith were, in fact, part of an ongoing case with the EFCC, we turned over the fund in compliance with this federal commission’s request,” Hughes explained.

On the current matter between Yahaya Bello and the EFCC, the school stated: “We will refrain from making any further comment at this time.”


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