Group urges EFCC to prosecute BPE DG, others

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a civil society group that promotes transparency and accountability, has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to prosecute those indicted by the senate report on the activities of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

Last Tuesday, the senate endorsed the removal of the Director-General of BPE, Bolanle Onagoruwa, for “gross incompetence and for the illegal and fraudulent sale of the Federal Government’s residual shares in Eleme Petrochemicals Company Limited”.

The Senate also indicted the former heads of the Bureau, Nasir el-Rufai, Julius Bala and Irene Nkechi Chigbue, for seeking approval directly from the president instead of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) as stipulated in the Public Enterprises Act, 1999.

SERAP, in a public statement by its executive director Adetokunbo Mumuni, urged the EFCC to respond to the actions of the Senate.

“We welcome the BPE report, and laud the Senate for showing strong political will to conclude the investigation, and adopt and publish the report. Now it is time for both the EFCC and the Senate to work closely together to ensure that those suspected to be involved in corruption in the BPE are swiftly brought to justice, and all proceeds of corruption are recovered and returned back to the treasury,” Mr. Mumuni said.

“The BPE report clearly shows a serious breach of anticorruption legislation and Nigeria’s international obligations including the UN Convention against Corruption and the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, both of which the country has ratified,” the organization said.

“We also urge both the Senate and the House of Representatives to conclude all investigations into allegations of corruption; publicly release all the reports of concluded investigations and send those reports to the relevant anticorruption bodies for necessary action,” the statement further stated.

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