The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has clarified the statement made by its chairman, Ola Olukoyede, that a religious sect was laundering money for terrorists, and not any church or mosque in particular.
EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, in a statement said the groups fingered by the EFCC chair are religious sects, not a church or a mosque.
“Those subjecting this disclosure to sinister interpretation are on to mischief and should be ignored. The EFCC boss is focused on his assignment of tackling all shades of economic and financial crimes and would not be distracted.”
Recall that at the commission’s public engagement on Youth, Religion and the Fight Against Corruption on Wednesday, January 31, 2024 in Abuja, the chairman had frowned at the conduct of some religious sect leaders whom he accused of being complicit in money laundering.
He said: “As I’m standing before you, there is a matter we are handling, a pyramid scheme that involves over N30 billion fleeced from Nigerians.
“Along the line, some people died, some victims collapsed and all of that. We were able to trace over N7 billion to a particular religious body and, I said, write a letter to the leader of that religious sect, and we did
“The next thing we saw was a restraining order. We got a restraining order restraining us from recovering the money. Meanwhile, people have died along the line. Money traced directly to the body, and that is what we are battling. Of course, we have appealed, and this is the situation that is facing us – religious leaders.”
He further said, “When I was the chief of staff, we investigated an issue of money laundering, somewhere in this country. There is a particular religious sect that laundered money for terrorists. These are the problems we are battling with.”
But EFCC spokesman Oyewale said, “Olukoyede neither mentioned a church, mosque nor any particular religious entity. Unfortunately, his comments have been twisted with mischievous connotations.”