Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday said past administrations collected N15 billion as security votes between 2003 and 2018.
The commission stressed that the funds were spent to settle the security men who used to mill around serving governors.
The agency’s Zonal Head Isyaku Sharu said this in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, at the 26th edition of Media Parliament lecture of the Kwara State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Speaking on the topic, titled: Anti-Corruption Fight in Nigeria, Progress and Challenges: The Kwara Sstate Experience, Sharu admitted that corruption had become endemic in the country.
The zonal head said the EFCC was established in the state following several complaints from the residents.
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He said: “The continuous complaints of the people of Kwara State became much louder in the periods ending the Year 2018 wherein the Acting Executive Chairman of EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu, had to create the Ilorin Zonal Office of the commission to look into the long-standing persistent economic and financial crimes issues in the state.
“It is noteworthy that Kwara is one of the first created states, as far back as May 27, 1967, and has had several leaders. But the state has over the years not maximised its potentials largely due to the alleged cases of mismanagement and embezzlement of the state’s resources.”
Sharu, who noted that though the commission resumed in the state in February, added: “In the course of carrying out our assignment, we have noticed with great disappointment that the people of Kwara State are sometimes scared of exposing the corrupt and bad eggs amongst them.”
But he assured the residents that despite the obstacle, the commission secured 26 convictions, recovered several properties ranging from hotels, plaza, residential apartments, fleet of cars and hundreds of millions of cash, which were all forfeited to the Federal Government.
The zonal head also said the anti-graft agency had checked cybercrimes, popularly called “Yahoo Yahoo”, in Kwara, Kogi and Ekiti states, its areas of operation.
Sharu said the commission had created awareness on corruption through public enlightenment campaigns in schools and among National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members.
The zonal head urged journalists to assist the commission in sensitising the people on its long-lasting values which abhor illicit and fraudulent tendencies.
Kwara State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mallam Attahiru Madami, urged journalists to help eradicate corruption from the society.
“We no longer practise our family value system, which abhors bad behaviours and bad name. Our leaders are no longer leading by what they say and they don’t live by example,” he said.