More trouble for Magu as new facts on re-looting of recovered funds emerge
The travails of suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, is not ending any time soon as new facts in his case have emerged.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Magu is currently being interrogated by the presidential probe panel headed by retired Justice Ayo Salami over allegations of mismanagement and lack of transparency in managing recovered looted funds and assets by the EFCC.
The presidential probe panel committee is to investigate and report on corruption and money laundering allegations involving Magu and Bureau De Change operators, as well as some of his associates; as per the intelligence reports and petitions. It was to also audit the Assets and Finances of the EFCC as a legal entity from 2015-2020, with a view to establishing compliance or otherwise with procurement procedures of the EFCC in line with the provisions of the Procurement Act.
However, Magu is facing new facts emerging on how interest rates accruing from N550 billion recovered by the EFCC in the period under review were allegedly re-looted. Magu is expected to disclose the whereabouts of the missing interest funds running into millions of naira.
The Final Report of Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets (PCARA) that covered the period of May 29, 2015, to Nov. 22, 2018, had also confirmed the concerns of the public about contradictory recovery figures emanating from Magu.
“It is quite disturbing that conflicting figures are being circulated in the public space by EFCC as the amount of recovered funds
“For Foreign currency recoveries, EFCC reported a total naira equivalent of N46,038,882,509.87, while the naira equivalent of the foreign currency lodgments were N37,533,764,195.66, representing a shortfall of N8,505,118,314.21.
“These inconsistencies cast a serious doubt on the accuracy of figures submitted by the EFCC. It is the committee’s view that the EFCC cannot be said to have fully accounted for cash recoveries made by it.
“While EFCC reported total Naira recoveries of N504,154,184,744.04, the actual bank lodgments were N543,511,792,863.47. These discrepancies mean that EFCC’s actual lodgment exceeded its reported recoveries by N39,357,608,119.43.”
NAN also reports that the PCARA revealed how the investigative reports on EFCC’s activities by the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) exposed acts of corruption and money laundering against some EFCC officials, including Magu.
“The NFIU reports established that the Acting Chairman has been using different sources to siphon money from the EFCC, and in some cases collecting bribes from suspects.
“The report has shown that a particular Bureau de Change, owned by Ahmed Ibrahim Shanono linked to the Acting Chairman based in Kaduna has more than 158 accounts and has been receiving huge sums of funds.
“The link to Magu was also established by the payment of N28 million to FALANA who is a close associate and ally of the Acting Chairman,’’ the PCARA report further revealed.
The Salami probe panel is expected to continue sitting on Monday while Magu’s lawyer, Mr. Oluwatosin Ojaomo, had on Friday applied for an administrative bail for his client, who is facing corruption and other charges before the panel.