Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Abdulrasheed Bawa has told a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja that the commission does not need to receive a petition against a suspect to activate it to investigate crimes.
Bawa made this clarification while being cross-examined by the lawyer of an oil firm, Nadabo Energy and its chairman, Abubakar Peters, who is standing trial before the court over an alleged N1.4 billion oil subsidy fraud.
The EFCC is prosecuting Abubakar and his company before Justice Christopher Balogun on a 27-count charge of allegedly using forged documents to obtain the sum of N1, 464,961,978.24 from the Federal Government as oil subsidy, after allegedly inflating the quantity of Premium Motor Spirit, PMS, purportedly imported and supplied by the company.
The EFCC boss, who was the fifth prosecution witness in the matter was asked by the defence counsel, Osagie Isiramen of the anti-graft agency, could just investigate an individual without a petition directly accusing the person of the alleged fraud?
He answered in the affirmative.
Bawa then quoted Section 7 (b) of the EFCC Establishment Act, which he claimed gives the EFCC special powers to cause an inestigation involving any individual whose lifestyle is not commensurate with his source of income.”
When the lawyer asked him, who determines the measure of a person’s lifestyle?
The witness stated, “Intelligence based on what we know about the person that his lifestyle is not commensurate with his known source of income, then, the EFCC can cause an investigation to be carried out.
The EFCC chairman further maintained that the EFCC can cause an investigation on anybody who is believed to have done something wrong against the EFCC Act.