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Over $370m recovered loot still hanging in UK, says Magu

By Matthew Ogune, Segun Olaniyi (Abuja) and Kelvin Ebiri (Port Harcourt)
06 December 2018   |   4:16 am
From the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu came yesterday a revelation that over $370 million...

Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

• ‘Diezani’s extradition our major concern’
• Agency gets back N794b from corrupt citizens
• HURIWA accuses commission of selective prosecution

From the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu came yesterday a revelation that over $370 million recovered loot was still hanging in the United Kingdom (UK) for reasons unknown to the anti-graft agency.

Magu also stated that he had no plans to destroy the relationship between Nigeria and the UK, stating that the commission was only concerned about the extradition of for Nigeria’s Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison- Maduekwe.

Magu spoke yesterday in Abuja during an interaction with journalists.

The EFCC boss, who wondered why more than 80 percent of recovered loot from outside Nigeria is still hanging, said: “Ask them why are they still hanging, why is it so difficult to repatriate the loots when you know that this person does not own this money? There is no justification.

“This is not small money, we have over $370 million hanging in Jessy highland in UK. We are going to comply with the court order because it is in our character to comply with court orders. I have less than 72 hours to produce Diezani but how can I do that when she is being protected by order law enforcement agencies outside Nigeria. This is my predicament.”

Also yesterday, Magu said a total of N794 billion had been recovered by the EFCC from persons who allegedly looted the country’s treasury.

He also revealed that 407 mansions were seized, out these, 126 were forfeited to the Federal Government.

Magu, who was represented at a corruption symposium in Port Harcourt, Rivers State by the EFCC Head of Operations, Usman Muktar, declared that between 2015 and 2017, the anti- graft agency recovered $261 million, 8.1 millions Euros and 1.1 million Pound sterling from corrupt Nigerians.

Meanwhile, a pro-democracy and non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has alleged that the EFCC under the current dispensation is consistently sinking into the deepest abyss of selective prosecution of alleged graft offenders.

The group said the EFCC has a text book case of how to prosecute accused person based on the criteria of how closed you are to the inner caucus in the Presidency, your ethnicity and your religion.

HURIWA has asked the National Assembly to investigate the allegation that over 75 per cent of strategic holders of offices of directors in EFCC are persons from the Moslem North.

In a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko said:
“This same EFCC has not found it necessary to invite the chief of staff to the president for investigation over diverse but worrying levels of accusations of fraud and bribery made by different Nigerians including biological relation of one of the two most powerful members of the cabal in the presidency- the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Apart from the chief of staff to the president, the EFCC is yet to institute charges against the erstwhile Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir Lawal despite the existence of massive amount of body of evidence which indicted him of alleged diversion of nearly half a billion Naira meant for the rehabilitation of the North East of Nigeria and for the feeding of the displace persons of the counter insurgency war”.

HURIWA wondered why the EFCC has refused to arrest the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) who is the arrow head of the presidential campaign of the president, even when top members of his own party accused him severally of bribery scam during the just ended rancorous primary elections of the party all over the country.