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How Magu ‘failed integrity test’ before an earlier panel over N550bn recovered cash

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Ibrahim Magu

The suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu had earlier failed the integrity test before an earlier panel that investigated allegations of malfeasance against him.

Magu, who was arrested last Monday by a combined team of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the police, was reportedly indicted for his failure to account for the interest generated from N550bn cash recovered from 2015 to 2020, NAN is reporting.

Magu alongside some top EFCC operatives, is currently being interrogated by a presidential panel headed by former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, in a separate matter following a petition against him by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami,

NAN reports that his nailing by an earlier committee, under the chairmanship of Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim, was actually what led to the commencement of full investigation by the Salami committee.

Apart from Ibrahim, other members of the earlier committee included 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, while Mr Kazeem Attitebi served as the secretary.

The report, entitled: Final Report of the Presidential Investigation Committee on the EFCC Federal Government Recovered Assets and Finances from May 2015 to May 2020, gave a damning report verdict on the suspended EFCC boss.

It 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 panel said it was quite disturbing that conflicting figures were being circulated in the public space by the EFCC as the amount of recovered funds adding the inconsistencies cast serious doubt on the accuracy of figures submitted by the EFCC.

In its view, the committee held that the EFCC could not be said to have fully accounted for cash recoveries made by it, noting 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 said.

The report had also confirmed the concerns of the public about contradictory recovery figures emanating from Magu.

The Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets revealed how the investigative reports on EFCC’s activities by the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit exposed acts of corruption and money laundering against some EFCC officials, including Magu.

The NFIU reports, which established that Magu had been using different sources to siphon money from the EFCC, stated how a Lagos-based lawyer was paid N28million by the EFCC boss, adding: “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.”

Source NAN