25th December, 2018
PRESS RELEASE: SEIZED $2.8M : MURIC CALLS FOR THOROUGH INVESTIGATION
A Nigerian bank has allegedly claimed ownership of the $2.8 million cash seized by the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC) at the Akanu Ibiam Airport in Enugu State. Two suspects, Igho Augustine and Ezekwe Emmanuel had earlier been arrested on Friday, 21st December, 2018 on suspicion of money laundering.
The bank has criticized EFCC for releasing a statement without completing investigations. The bank claimed that movement of cash across states was a legitimate process for all banks. In its characteristic intervention, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has accused the bank of grandstanding.
In a press statement issued on Tuesday, 25th December, 2018, the human rights organization asked Nigeria’s foremost anti-graft agency, EFCC, to pursue the investigation to a logical conclusion.
“The confession of the two suspects that they have been conveying such cash for notable banks for more than six years raises eyebrows. We strongly suspect economic sabotage. The matter must be properly investigated before the cash can be released. The bank may be grandstanding for all we know.
“Since when has movement of cash of such humongous amount been the sole responsibility of two citizens? Is that not an abuse of due process? How safe is that in a porous society like ours? By the way, are the two gentlemen staffers of the bank? There are too many questions begging for answers in this case.
“It is also common knowledge that looters who have hidden money in uncommon places are most likely to be making attempts to bring them out in these electioneering days. The $2.8 million may be the break we have been waiting for. It may lead us to other finds.
“Finally, we call for a thorough investigation of the circumstances leading to the care-free movement of so much cash. The money must not be returned to the bank unless all evidence point to respect for due process. That money may belong to one of those looting politicians who want to use it to buy votes”.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)