The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has clarified a statement made by its chairman, Ola Olukoyede, that a religious sect was laundering money for terrorists, saying the group referred to was neither a church or mosque in particular.
The anti-graft agency said those subjecting Olukoyede’s revelation to sinister interpretation were on to mischief and should be ignored.
EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, in a statement on Thursday, with the titled “EFCC clarifies Its chairman’s disclosures about alleged money laundering by religious leaders,” 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’s 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 had 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 N7billion 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 your 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.”
However, Oyewale said, “Olukoyede neither mentioned a Church, Mosque nor any particular religious entity. Unfortunately, his comments have been twisted with mischievous connotations.”