The suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has denied claims alleging that he had lodged N550 billion recovered loot at a commercial bank to generate interests.
DAILY NIGERIAN recalls that Mr Magu had been earlier suspended and is being probed by a five-man presidential panel led by Justice Ayo Salami over corruption allegations.
This was contained in a statement signed by Mr Magu’s lawyer, Wahab Shittu, on Monday, while denying claims that Mr Magu was confronted about the issue by the Salami Panel.
Mr Magu noted that all recovered funds are kept with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and do not generate interest.
“It is falsehood that Magu placed N550 billion recovered loot into a deposit account.
“The alleged transaction never featured in the proceedings before the Salami panel.
“Magu was never confronted with any such allegation by the panel and the news is blatant falsehood.
“To the best of Magu’s knowledge, no such amount is in any such account and he remains aghast at such outrageous figures. No one has confronted Magu with such allegations.
“All recovered funds are lodged in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“Such recovered funds do not generate interest. This is elementary and can be verified from the CBN and the federal ministry of finance.
“This can also be confirmed from other government revenue generating agencies. Funds kept in TSA accounts do not generate interest,” the statement noted.
Recall that a report by the Presidential Probe Panel had revealed details of how the suspended acting EFCC chairman allegedly used a cleric to launder funds abroad.
Omale’s name was uncovered through an investigative report on EFCC’s activities by the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, and mentioned in the final report of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets, PCARA.
According to the report, the unknown clergy is alleged to have bought a landed property on behalf of Magu worth N573 million in Dubai, United Arab Emirate.
“Another individual who is helping in laundering funds for the Acting Chairman and who has been referred to in several petitions is one Pastor Emmanuel Omale (Hand of God Prophetic Ministry).
“He is reported to have travelled to Dubai with Mr Magu and his name was used in purchasing property in Dubai for Mr Magu.
“As an unknown pastor, the NFIU’s report showed huge movement of funds ranging from N573,228,040.41,’’ the report said.
It was 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.
On the Diezani Alison Madueke case, the PCARA Report accused Magu of failure 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 to enable them charge the Former Minister to court in the UK.
“The Acting Chairman despite his knowledge that Mrs 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 maintained.
Mr Magu was also accused of deliberately refusing to provide documentary evidence that would make the office of the nation’s Attorney-General to commence the extradition process of Diezani Madueke.
“This has strained the EFCC relationship with Europe most strategic partner,’’ the report further observed.