09 February 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja — The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday disclosed that it was investigating former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, as well as former Finance Minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, over acts of corruption.
The Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, who confirmed the investigations when he came before the House of Representatives Committee on EFCC, headed by Hon. Oladele Kayode, also stated that a close associate of Alison-Madueke, one Mr. Kola Aluko, was also under the commission’s radar.
The EFCC boss noted that the Commission was working with the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency (NCA) to ensure Alison-Madueke is prosecuted for corruption.
“Very soon, we will go into the petroleum industry,” Magu said in response to questions by a member of the committee, Hon. Razak Atunwa, on whether the two former ministers were included in the EFCC bucket list as the commission cracks down on official graft.
Magu appeared before the committee to defend the agency’s budget proposal where he urged the committee to consider an additional N500 million to its N1.38billion overhead appropriation to facilitate expansion of its investigations into more sectors of the economy.
Earlier in his address, Magu said the reduction of the budget estimate to N1.38 billion from N2.99 billion by the ministry, would affect the mandate of the EFCC.
“It will adversely affect it ability to prosecute the war against corruption. Areas that would be highly affected are: investigative activities (local travels and transport), manpower development (professional training), maintenance of logistics (plant and generator fuelling, motor vehicle maintenance), etc,” Magu said.
He sought support for a proposed recruitment of an additional 750 staff into different cadres of the agency this year.
Oladele, in his opening remarks, expressed support for the anti-corruption war of the present administration.
He noted that arrests and prosecution of corrupt persons, and the enforcement of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), are pointers indicating a strong political will to fighting the menace of corruption.
In the meantime, former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh, was yesterday detained at the Abuja headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Badeh who served during the President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration is being questioned in connection with the $2.1billion arms procurement scandal at the commission headquarters in Abuja, at the time of filling this report.
Although the EFCC did not officially confirm Badeh’s detention, a source familiar with the interrogation hinted that the former CDS would be detained and may not be granted freedom soon.
Badeh is expected to make clarifications on the procurement of equipment during his tenure.
The source also stated that Badeh is being interrogated by a special team comprising very senior officers in the commission.
“The ex-CDS is still with us, he is going to pass the night here and he might not be released soon, the interrogation is ongoing,” the source said.
The former CDS had last Wednesday visited the EFCC to honour the invitation extended to him by the anti-graft commission but his appointment with the commission was rescheduled for monday by the EFCC to give more information about the purchase of the arms, in continuation of the probe of the arms deals—allegedly executed by former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki.