28 February 2014, Abuja – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it is waiting for the forensic audit of the NNPC accounts, before it will commence investigation into the alleged unremitted funds.
The EFCC Chairman, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde, made this known in Abuja on Thursday at the commission’s 2014 budget defence before the Senate Committee on Drugs, Narcotics and Financial Crimes.
Lamorde said investigations into the financial position of the NNPC were technical and required experts to conduct a comprehensive audit to unveil its true financial position.
He said that the outcome of the forensic audit of NNPC would provide the EFCC with the materials to conduct criminal investigation into the accounts of the corporation.
“When this controversy started we had about three figures. Now we have settled more or less on 20 billion dollars.
“The minister of finance said that they want to commission an audit firm to do a forensic auditing of the finances of the NNPC.
“You need a professional firm to handle this. This is not a common investigation. These are very technical things.
“Let the audit be carried out. Let’s know exactly what we are talking about, understand what the figures are and criminal investigation can follow.
“You can’t start an investigation on nothing. You can’t put a super structure without a base. So, we need that base to put our own investigation on it,” he said.
Lamorde told the committee that the anti-graft agency secured 117 convictions in 2013 and that it had already secured 30 convictions within the last two months.
He said the commission looked forward to securing not less than 150 convictions for financial crime offenders at the end of 2014.
“Law enforcement investigation is supposed to be systematic and you work toward getting evidence to sustain your case if eventually you go to court.
“You can’t just go to court based on assumptions. We have gone very far with some of our investigations. Very soon when we are ready you will see us in court,” Lamorde added.