By Tony Orilade, Ag. Head, Media & Publicity, EFCC
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, July 17, 2019, handed over a choice property forfeited by the late Chief of Defence Staff, (CDS) Air Chief Marshal Alex Bade to the Voice of Nigeria VON, which now becomes the new headquarters of the federal government broadcast station.
The property, located at Plot 1386 Uda Crescent, off Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja, was handed over to VON by the EFCC Secretary, Olanipekun Olukoyede who represented the Acting Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu.
Speaking through Olukoyede, Magu stated that: “This is an epic moment in the history of Nigeria, not for the ceremonial nature of this activity, but for what it stands for. This is one of the buildings that was confiscated from a fraudulent person who stole the money of Nigeria. The event taking place today is going a long way to prove to the critics, that the war against corruption is real; the battle has come to stay. If we are able to fight corruption in Nigeria concertedly, we would have fought 70 per cent of Nigeria’s problem.”
He called on all Nigerians to join hands in the fight against the canker worm of corruption, saying such was necessary, “If not for us, but for the generation coming behind.”
While expressing sadness over the ills of corruption in the society, the EFCC boss praised President Buhari for providing the conducive atmosphere and political will to sustain the anti-corruption fight.
“Within a few years, we have moved from stolen billions to trillions. Imagine the number of hospitals the trillions should be able to build but was never built, the number of students the stolen funds could have sponsored on free scholarship that but will now, never go to school. The thousands of kilometres of roads that could have been constructed, but will never be built; the number of arms that could have been purchased for our military men to fight insurgency,” Magu said.
He further noted that “Today’s event is important if only to send signals to those stealing our money that one day, one day, monkey will go to the market and he will never return.”
While decrying the high rate of internet fraud among the youth, he said “The battle against fraud is for everybody. The EFCC will not come and train your child for you, it is everybody’s fight.”
Having acquired a conducive headquarters, he charged VON to do more in terms of public education and enlightenment on the ills of corruption.
The Director General of VON, Mr Osita Okechukwu, thanked the EFCC for its support to the government’s broadcast organisation and unrelenting fight against corruption.
“We are beneficiaries of EFCC’s good work and fruits of President Buhari’s anti-graft war. We thank the EFCC for its cooperation and for this befitting virgin gold corporate headquarters,” Okechukwu said.
He recalled that VON has been struggling for office space for over 20 years in Radio House, Abuja, a facility that belongs to its parent organisation, Radio Nigeria.
At the handing over event, VON promised to produce a special programme to be dedicated to the EFCC.