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EFCC has powers to probe unexplained wealth – Bawa


The newly confirmed chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, said that the Commission has the powers to investigate unexplained wealth.

Bawa gave this indication while answering questions from Senators during his screening by the Senate during plenary on Wednesday presided over by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.

On the powers of the Commission to investigate suspicious wealth, Bawa said: “Distinguished Senator Ali Ndume asked a question regarding the Unexplained Wealth Order. Coincidentally, I am the desk officer of the Unexplained Wealth Order at the EFCC because during the course of my career particularly in the last five years, I am not aware of any detective at the EFCC that has worked closely with the National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom.

“So, I am fully aware about the Unexplained Wealth Order. But there are certain provisions in the EFCC establishment Act that more or less gave us these powers. Section 7 subsection 1b of the Act says that the ‘Commission has the power to cause investigation to be conducted into the properties of any person that appears to the Commission that the persons lifestyle and the extent of the properties are not justified by his source of incomes.

“Meaning, without any complaint, if it comes to our knowledge that you have amassed so many properties that are not justified by your source of income, the EFCC can ask questions. And that is what the simple definition of explanation regarding the Unexplained Wealth Order. If you have this property, the U.K. will ask you what is this property for. If you explain that this is how you earned it so be it.

“If you did not explain, then they can further their investigation to determine how you acquired it. So I think that looking at this provision we are covered for now until we see how other jurisdictions have carried on with this Unexplained Wealth Order.”

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