...By Larry John for TDPel Media.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reportedly launched extensive investigations into governors and their deputies who are approaching the end of their terms and will soon lose their immunity from prosecution.
According to reliable sources, the EFCC’s scrutiny extends to at least 28 governors and their deputies out of the 36 states in Nigeria.
Outgoing governors and deputies who are set to complete their second terms on May 29 make up 18 of the officials under investigation.
Additionally, another governor will exit after a single term, while ten others are commencing their second terms following recent elections.
The EFCC has requested the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to provide the asset declaration forms of these officials, as stated in an internal memo and official communication between the two agencies.
The specific cases against these officials remain undisclosed, but the EFCC indicated that it requires the asset declaration documents to support an ongoing investigation involving these officers.
The letter from the EFCC, dated April 11 and signed on behalf of the EFCC’s chair, Abduralsheed Bawa, includes a list of governors and deputies who assumed office in either 2015 or 2019.
The agency sought asset declaration forms submitted at the beginning and end of the officials’ current tenure.
It is currently unknown if the CCB has responded to the EFCC’s request.
Asset declaration documents are crucial resources for investigators.
However, the immunity granted to serving presidents, vice presidents, governors, and deputy governors in Nigeria limits the extent of criminal prosecution by the EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies, allowing only preliminary investigations.
The governors and deputies under investigation include the outgoing Zamfara governor, Bello Matawalle, and his deputy, Hassan Gusau.
Notable names on the extensive list also include Nyesom Wike of Rivers state, Abdullahi Ganduje, Abubakar Bagudu, Abubakar Bello, Samuel Ortom, and Babajide Sanwo-Olu.