Magu: EFCC Has Re­cov­ered over N430bn Loot in Eight Months…

Says no face-off with AGF

THISDAY - - FRONT PAGE - In Abuja

Paul Obi

The Eco­nomic and Fi­nan­cial Crimes Com­mis­sion (EFCC) yes­ter­day said it had re­cov­ered about N409 bil­lion and $69.5 mil­lion (to­talling N430 bil­lion), among other for­eign currencies, as pro­ceeds of cor­rup­tion be­tween Jan­uary 1 and Au­gust 30, 2017.

The act­ing Chair­man of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, made the dis­clo­sure at a par­ley with jour­nal­ists in Abuja yes­ter­day, where he pro­vided fur­ther in­sight into the anti-graft war.

He also de­cried the tac­tics em­ployed by some po­lit­i­cally ex­posed per­sons fac­ing cor­rup­tion charges to ob­struct the EFCC in car­ry­ing out its du­ties, re­sort­ing to his usual re­frain, “cor­rup­tion is fight­ing back.”

Magu said: “Over a month ago, the com­mis­sion re­cov­ered over N329 bil­lion from a group of oil mar­keters for the Nige­rian Na­tional Pe­tro­leum Cor­po­ra­tion (NNPC).

These are ma­jor re­cov­er­ies from a sec­tor of the economy.

“But to give a holis­tic pic­ture of the ag­gres­sive drive to re­cover stolen wealth, I have the plea­sure to re­port that the com­mis­sion, be­tween Jan­uary and Au­gust 30, 2017, recorded the fol­low­ing mon­e­tary re­cov­er­ies: N409,270,706,686.75; US$69, 501,156.67; £231,118.69; €610,816.20; Dirham 443,400.00 and SR (Saudi Riyal) 70, 500.00.”

On the for­mer Min­is­ter of Pe­tro­leum Re­sources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, Magu re­called that the com­mis­sion, a few days ago, got a court or­der to for­feit to the Nige­rian Gov­ern­ment the sum of N7.6 bil­lion, which was hid­den in a Nige­rian bank by the min­is­ter.

“Two weeks ear­lier, another court is­sued a tem­po­rary for­fei­ture or­der to seize prop­er­ties worth $21,392,224 be­long­ing to the same for­mer min­is­ter. Those prop­er­ties are await­ing fi­nal for­fei­ture,” he added.

Magu fur­ther de­bunked claims by Alison-Madueke that the EFCC had failed to link the re­cov­ered il­licit funds and prop­er­ties to her.

“All these prop­er­ties are all avail­able; it’s real, it’s not like they don’t ex­ist. They ex­ist, it’s not me­dia hype. We have been able to es­tab­lish that there is thor­ough link­age be­tween that and the pro­ceeds of cor­rup­tion, steal­ing and loot­ing,” he added.

The EFCC chair­man also re­it­er­ated the stance of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to dis­close Nige­ri­ans who have si­phoned pub­lic funds to the United Arab Emi­rates (UAE).

He ex­plained that with the new treaty signed with the gov­ern­ment of the UAE, EFCC of­fi­cials will soon head to Dubai where it will un­veil loot­ers with trace­able cor­rupt deal­ings in the coun­try.

“We have been to Dubai with the At­tor­ney Gen­eral of the Fed­er­a­tion, and I had a meet­ing with a del­e­ga­tion from UAE, we were wait­ing for the rat­i­fi­ca­tion.

“They have a bet­ter data­base, they are op­er­at­ing the ben­e­fi­ciary own­er­ship method. They would also open their doors and would dis­close ev­ery­body, it is go­ing to work for us, we are go­ing there as soon as pos­si­ble,” he said

On the pur­ported rift be­tween the EFCC and the AGF and Min­is­ter of Jus­tice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), Magu main­tained that there was no rift be­tween them.

He said: “I don’t see it. I’m nat­u­rally some­body who be­lieves in self dis­ci­pline. The AGF is the num­ber one law of­fi­cer of the coun­try and there is no rea­son why there should be con­flict.

“That is why we have the syn­ergy to fight the com­mon enemy. It’s just pa­per work.”

Con­tin­u­ing, Magu also gave rea­sons why the Se­nate is ve­he­mently op­posed to the Na­tional Fi­nan­cial In­tel­li­gence Unit (NFIU) op­er­at­ing un­der the purview of the com­mis­sion.

He ar­gued that most of com­mis­sion’s op­er­a­tions re­volve around NFIU, and that once the unit is sep­a­rated, it would ren­der the EFCC re­dun­dant, al­leg­ing that ow­ing to the wide scope and ef­fi­ciency of the NFIU, there is an at­tempt by some “high po­lit­i­cally ex­posed per­sons with cor­rup­tion charges against them to use the back door to weaken the EFCC.”

The clam­our for the au­ton­omy of the NFIU is geared to­wards ful­fill­ing that hid­den agenda, he sub­mit­ted.

On the pros­e­cu­tion of cor­rup­tion cases, Magu said: “We are also mak­ing progress de­spite the an­tics of some per­sons ac­cused of grand cor­rup­tion to de­lay their trial.

“Be­tween Jan­uary and Au­gust this year, EFCC recorded 137 con­vic­tions. The po­ten­tial for im­prove­ment are good as more cases will be brought to con­clu­sion in the re­main­ing four months of the year.

“Re­gard­less of the chal­lenges that we have faced and con­tinue to face, I am happy to re­port that we are mak­ing progress. Many of you are aware of the achieve­ments that we have recorded in the fight against cor­rup­tion es­pe­cially in the area of as­sets re­cov­ery,” he said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.