13th December, 2022
Hundreds of Nigerians trooped to offices of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Tuesday to participate in the auction of 190 vehicles and electric devices by the anti-graft agency.
The vehicles and devices which were forfeited by convicted fraud suspects were auctioned at Zonal Offices of the anti- graft agency in Abuja, Benin, Port Harcourt, Kano, Ibadan and Uyo.
Wilson Uwujaren, spokesperson for EFCC said in a statement that the exercise was preceded by public inspection of the displayed photographs of the assets on Monday December12, 2022, where potential bidders viewed and identified the vehicles of their choice.
He added that the auction proper commenced in the early hours of Tuesday, December 13, 2022 with various licensed auctioneers taking charge of the exercise at the designated centres.
At Paragon Demonstration School, Limit Road, Benin City, scores of potential buyers bid competitively for the 20 vehicles slated for auction. The process began at 10.am with the auctioneer putting the first car on sale to the highest bidder.
Kelly Osunbor, a human rights activist who observed the process commended the Commission for the transparency process. According to him, the open bidding gives credibility to the process. One of the bidders, Odiase Itua, called for a limit to the amount people can bid. According to him, some bidders intentionally raised the stake to frustrate others from winning. “I was shocked by what I saw. The amount was too much,” he said.
In Ibadan where 80 vehicles were auctioned, the exercise took place at the Adamasingba stadium, Ibadan, with a member of the EFCC Asset Disposal Committee and Director, Proceeds of Crime Management, CE Aliyu Yusuf on hand to coordinate the activities of the three licensed auctioneers, PSC International Investment Limited, Aikson Nwonkwo D.S. and Aliyu A. Kiliya &Co, selected to conduct the auction.
In a brief remark before the auction, Aliyu reiterated the integrity of the arrangement as well as the Commission’s determination to ensure the exercise was transparent.
He charged bidders to be disciplined and follow the approved guidelines for a seamless auction.
The exercise in Uyo took place at the National Agricultural Land Development Authority, NALDA, along 4 lanes in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. It began at about 9.45 am and ended around 12. 35pm with 9 cars, two trucks, 11 computers and 9 mobile phones changing hands in an open and transparent bidding process conducted by Trevamteck K & G Limited, the auctioneer.
Dr. Nnamdi Enenwa who won a Mercedes-Benz C-Class said he was impressed with how the Commission conducted the exercise. “I was here at the venue yesterday during the inspection and today we came back for the auction exercise and it went very well. It was really well organized” he said.
Also, a representative of Civil Society Organisations, Mrs. Nkechi Udoh, Executive Director, Udeme Community Development Foundation, who observed the entire process, commended the Commission for a flawless auction process. “It was transparent and the auctioneers gave equal opportunity to all to bid publicly, and everyone heard everything. I like the fact that the venue was a neutral ground and was also accessible to all, so nobody felt intimidated. I must also commend the publicity because the turnout was a clear indication of a well-publicized exercise” Nkechi said.
In Kano, two cars, 16 mobile phones and one laptop were offered to the public by auction, while 35 vehicles, computers and electronic devices were put up for sale in Abuja, where hundreds of bidders participated in the exercise at the Car Park A of the Wuse Zone 2 office of the Commission.
According to Simon Idoko, a participant, the registration process went smoothly though the crowd was a bit unruly.
Bidding started at about 1pm and ended a few hours later with one R. Lawal the lucky winner of a Ford Explorer.
The ongoing sale of forfeited assets by the EFCC, began on December 6, 2022 at the Lagos Command of the agency.
Speaking during the exercise, Commander of the EFCC, CE Osita Nwajah, a member of the Asset Disposal Committee, said the EFCC gave the exercise wide publicity to ensure full participation by citizens.
“We gave this exercise a very wide publicity because we want total Nigerian participation. There is no hanky-panky, there is no underhand tactics. Everything that is done here is open and transparent, we want to be accountable to the Nigerian people.