True to EMNnews’ revelation last week that many of the old law makers are planning escapes from the country to avoid EFCC arrests and investigations, the Nigerian Police have unearthed plans by some of them escaping to exile.
EFCC however has been making efforts to inform many government across the world to give support to Nigeria in fighting corruption by not allowing illegal money launderers seeking refuge in those countries.
A source hinted that security agents especially in United Kingdom, America, United Arab Emirates, Ghana, Saudi Arabia and Malta have been notified of the attempts and have been urged not to harbor the criminals irrespective of the amount being carried to those countries, or assets owned by such criminals.
Many Nigerian money launderers have chosen to change directions, diverting their illegally acquired loots to the far East, especially Dubai where billions of Pounds worth of investment are currently embarked on by Nigerians with deep political stakeholding. Many have chosen to invest massively in properties and foreign exchange deals.
The two countries have been a sort of hot ashes atmosphere for illegal money laundering in recent years.
It was further revealed that many of the refuge- seeking economic saboteurs are opting to escape to unpopular countries so that they would not be suspected or traced as quickly just because Britain and America have been very popular and known as traditional launderers .
Source are claiming that EFCC, having discovered the plan, is leaving no stone unturned to make sure that all efforts are made to forestall the old lawmakers to run away from the long hand of the nation’s law.
Embattled outgoing Speaker of House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole allegedly planned to flee abroad in order to escape from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
According to Saharareporters, Mr. Bankole on Friday morning engaged in a tense stand-off with officials of the EFCC at his home as he refused arrest to answer money-laundering allegations.
He had planned to leave for the United Kingdom on a 7a.m. flight defying and earlier promise to show up in the premises of EFCC in Abuja.
Reports claimed EFCC investigators foiled the escape effort as they arrived at his official home at Apo quarters in Abuja unannounced at dawn thereby pre-empting his escape.
In a written statement, Bankole’s spokesman, Mr. Idowu Bakare, denied that the former Speaker had planned to leave for the United Kingdom on Friday, claiming he had instead scheduled meetings in Abuja and Lagos for the weekend as part of his valedictory activities from the House.
Sahara reporters wrote:”It is something of an irony that Bankole, Nigeria’s fourth most powerful man, has quickly become something of a fugitive in his own country”.
“It is even more ironic because only months ago, a Wikileaks cable which reported on a meeting between Bankole and the former United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms. Robin Sanders, said the Speaker lacked confidence in the EFCC and its chairperson, Mrs. Farida Waziri. At that meeting, on May 9, 2009, Bankole told Ms. Saunders the EFCC was not worth “one penny.”
Now the Wikileak infos have added impetus to suggested reasons why Bankole has refused to turn up for questioning, a deliberate intention to disrespect and rubbish EFCC.
However, Bankole has officially informed the Commission he would meet with it next Monday at 2pm.
According to Saharareporters, Mr. Bankole on Friday morning having engaged in the tense stand-off with officials of the EFCC at his home as he refused arrest to answer money-laundering allegations now id faced with the reality that he has to cooperate with the law enforcement Agency
“The news that Bankole will meet wit2h the EFCC next Monday is likely to be received with cynicism by that agency’s investigators whom he has deceived twice in the past week”, reported SR.
In an unprecedented move on Friday, the EFCC was told to leave Mr. Bankole’s residence after Inspector-General of Police Hafiz Ringim stood surety for him.
An EFCC source confirmed that Mr. Ringim told the Commission’s operations leader at Bankole’s house he had instructions from President Jonathan to allow the speaker to complete handing over ceremonies on Monday before he can be questioned. In a bizarre and unprecedented move, the IG offered to stand surety for Mr. Bankole.
International community and Nigerians in the Diaspora however are assessing, seeing Bankole’s EFCC stand-off as a major test case and moral and sincerity trial for President Goodluck Jonathan.
Mr Bankole is the current owner of the nation’s icon, NITEL after a hush-hush sale to his family according to sources.
He had been rumored just over a year ago that he misapproprited a huge amount of N52 billion to purchase a fleet of big cars in apparent preparation for Ogun State governorship race. He didn’t make the primary.
There are issues to grind with EFCC regarding a sum of misappropriated $1billion in Bank account fiddle while money belong to some house members are allegedly stuck strategically in Bank in settlement of certain loans. More more allegations are hanging on his neck.