La­gos, Rivers head­quar­ters of money laun­der­ing, al­leges Magu

The Punch - - FRONT PAGE - Chuk­wudi Akasike, Port Har­court

THE act­ing Chair­man of the Eco­nomic and Fi­nan­cial Crimes Com­mis­sion, Mr Ibrahim Magu, on Tues­day de­scribed Rivers and La­gos states as the head­quar­ters of money laun­der­ing in Nige­ria.

Magu said La­gos State was the first in terms of money laun­der­ing, adding that the un­en­vi­able po­si­tion was fol­lowed by Rivers.

The act­ing EFCC boss spoke with jour­nal­ists in Port Har­court, say­ing the rate of money laun­der­ing in Port Har­court was high as a re­sult of the oil busi­ness go­ing on in the city.

He said, “I think Rivers State is the next to La­gos in terms of crime. This (Rivers) is the head­quar­ters of money laun­der­ing be­cause there is a lot of oil money here.

“I think you can rate Port

Har­court the sec­ond to maybe La­gos when you talk of peo­ple play­ing with sink­ing, div­ing, hid­ing, maybe be­cause of the large space of oil deals.”

Main­tain­ing that the judg­ment halt­ing the EFCC from prob­ing the Rivers State gov­er­nors would not stand,

Magu ex­plained that the court or­der ob­tained by the for­mer gov­er­nor of the state, Dr Peter Odili, re­train­ing the anti-graft agency from in­ves­ti­gat­ing gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials in the state had been over­taken by event.

Magu said, “Noth­ing is go­ing to stop us; even the is­sue of the court or­der al­legedly ob­tained by Dr Peter Odili and oth­ers to stop the EFCC from in­ves­ti­ga­tion and pros­e­cu­tion has been over­taken by event.

“I am telling you that the judg­ment can­not stand; it will only take some time. It can­not hold and we are go­ing to con­clude the in­ves­ti­ga­tion. There are so many in­ves­ti­ga­tions we are do­ing.

“We will take it be­fore the court; let the court refuse to pros­e­cute their cases. I am sure the mat­ter has suf­fered for about 13 years now; we are go­ing to test it. The mat­ter is in the Supreme Court, we will fol­low it up.”

He said the anti-graft agency had been able to se­cure the con­vic­tion of three for­mer gov­er­nors, adding that 1,245 con­vic­tions were recorded in 2019.

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