Anti-Corruption War: Magu Vows to bring Diezani, Kalu to Trial
The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu has attributed the rising successes of the Commission in the anti-corruption fight to the political will of President Muhammadu Buhari’s government which allows for non-interference in its works and zero tolerance for any act of corruption.
He made this disclosure in Abuja on Thursday, June 11, 2020 at the EFCC’s Headquarters in a World Press Conference to mark the 2020 Democracy Day and Anti-corruption Summit. According to Magu, “The political will we have enjoyed from the present government in the fight against corruption is unprecedented. That the president allows the EFCC to operate without interference has been one of our biggest strengths.”
Based on this strength and many other conducive enablement, the EFCC’s boss said that strings of achievements have been made in the last couple of years. According to him, the EFCC has secured 2,240 convictions and recovered assets in excess of N980 billlion in the last five years.
“Our scorecard in the area of conviction is 2,240 in the last five years. We have recovered assets in excess of N980 billion and quite a large array of non monetary assets like properties, estates, private jets, oil vessels, filling station, schools , hotels, trucks and other automobiles, jewelry, plaza, shopping malls, electronics amongst others,” he said.
While urging Nigerians to take ownership of the anti-corruption fight, Magu stated that, “As I always emphasize, public ownership of the anti-corruption war, is one of the best showcase of patriotism. We must continue to show greater commitment and support for the government in this regard and work with the EFCC to make anti-corruption a national war.
Magu admitted that there are challenges on the way, especially in the case involving the former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke. “We have some challenges in Diezani’s case because we have investigated her case for more than five years”, he said.
He vowed that the former governor of Abia State, Orji Uzor Kalu would be brought to trial, no matter the impediment. “The judgment is clear. We will go back to court working on the judicial directive from the Supreme Court,” he said. Across the zones of the EFCC, facts and figures have been rolled out about the increasing achievements of the Commission, based on its assigned mandate. Nigerians are also being charged to show more commitment to the fight against corruption.
The Lagos Zonal Head of the EFCC, Mr. Muhammed Rabo, noted that youths are critical stakeholders in ridding the nation of unsavory and fraudulent practices and charged them to steer clear of such conducts. ” One critical stakeholder in the fight is the youth.
However, most economic and financial crimes, especially cyber crimes are committed by young people”, he said. On his own part, Malaifia Yakubu, Kaduna Zonal Head of the Commission charged the public to key into the whistle-blowing policy of the government and exposed fraudsters in their vicinity.
Meanwhile, in the Port Harcourt Zonal office of the EFCC, a total sum of N3.214billion had been released to the Imo State government out of the N7.9billion frozen in different accounts discovered in the investigation of former Governor of Imo State, Chief Rochas Okorocha. Usman Imam, Port Harcourt Zonal Head said that the money was released to the State government to pay salaries, pensions and meet its obligations to workers.
To crown it all, the Benin Zonal Head of the Commission, A.H Danmusa urged the media to do more investigative stories to expose corruption. “I convey the profound appreciation of the Acting Executive Chairman, Ibrahim Magu to you and charge you as media personnel to expose people, who without any identifiable source of livelihood, continue to live large on other people’s sweat. We implore you to use your various platforms to sensitize the public on the ills of corruption and its consequences on the society”, he said.