A prior presidential panel, which investigated the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, indicted him, revealing how the man recruited to fight all categories of corruption in the country acquired a N573m Dubai mansion and was unable to account for the interest generated from N550bn cash recovered from 2015 to 2020, a report published by the News Agency of Nigeria said.
The panel is different from the one led by a former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, which is currently probing Magu and other EFCC top officials.
The chairman of the previous committee was Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim.
The members were DIG Anthony Ogbizi; a member from Federal Ministry of Justice; Mualledi Dogondaji from the EFCC; Hassan Abdullahi from the DSS; an unnamed member from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation; Chinedu Ifediora from the NFIU and Mr Kazeem Attitebi as the secretary.
The committee’s damning report, which was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria, led to Magu’s current travails.
It partly read, “Failure to report on the interest on actual lodgements clearly establishes that the interest element of over N550bn has been re-looted relating to the period under review.
“This is an apparent case of manipulation of data in a very brazen and unprofessional manner and this has greatly eroded the public confidence in the anti-corruption efforts.”
The committee said that the EFCC could not be said to have fully accounted for cash recoveries made by it, explaining that that there were discrepancies between what the embattled chairman reported and the lodgements the commission made.
“It must be pointed out that the discrepancy of more than N31bn does not include interest accrued in this account since it was opened.
“It therefore cast serious doubt on the credibility of the figures and means that substantial amount of money has not been accurately accounted for.”
It added, “The NFIU ( Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit) reports established that the acting chairman has been using different sources to siphon money from the EFCC.
“The report has shown that a particular Bureau de Change, owned by Ahmed Shanono linked to the acting chairman based in Kaduna, has more than 158 accounts and has been receiving huge sums of funds.”
The committee accused Magu of paying a prominent Lagos-based senior advocate N28m.
The panel accused the suspended EFCC chairman of using one Pastor Omale to launder funds abroad.
Omale’s name was uncovered through an investigative report on EFCC’s activities by the NFIU.
According to the report, the unknown clergyman allegedly bought a property on behalf of Magu worth N573m in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
“As an unknown pastor, the NFIU’s report showed the huge movement of funds ranging from N573,228,040.41,” the report said.
NAN also gathered that efforts had been intensified to expose the real identity of the pastor with a view to arraigning him for prosecution, if found culpable.
The committee further accused the suspended EFCC boss of bungling the probe of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Because he allegedly failed to cooperate with authorities in the United Kingdom to facilitate effective prosecution of the case.
“In the Diezani Alison-Madueke case, the acting chairman is failing to further cooperate with the UK NCA (National Crime Agency) to enable them to charge the former minister to court in the UK.
“The acting chairman, despite his knowledge that Mrs Alison-Madueke will not be extradited to Nigeria until after her trial in the UK, has consistently been accusing the UK government on the pages of print and electronic media of not wanting to extradite her to Nigeria,” the report said.
Magu was also accused of deliberately refusing to provide documentary evidence that would make the office of the Attorney-General to commence the extradition process of Diezani Madueke.
“This has strained the EFCC’s relationship with Europe, our most strategic partner,’’ the report commented.
NAN reported that Magu, who is being held at the Police headquarters, Abuja, is expected to reappear before the Salami probe panel on Monday to defend himself against several allegations.
Mr. Magu has been held in an Abuja police cell since his arrest by police operatives on Monday in his Wuse II office.
Meanwhile, his lawyer, Mr. Tosin Ojaomo, is battling fervently to get him released on bail.