16 March 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, on Wednesday said that erstwhile Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, operated a clique used to steal the country blind.
The anti-corruption czar, who stated this in response to inquiries by Senator Hamman Misau, during his unsuccessful confirmation hearing at the Senate, in Abuja, added that Alison-Madueke ran away to London with her clique that perpetuated the crime to defraud Nigeria.
Misau had wondered if it was possible for the Alison-Madueke to have looted the alleged “staggered amount from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation coffers without collaboration of other officials.”
Magu, who was being grilled by the Senate for confirmation as the substantive EFCC Chairman, stated that high profile looting was possible because the former Minister had a clique working with her.
He confirmed that those involved are on the run, while others have been arrested in the U.K.
“Mr. Senate President, as I speak with you, those involved in Alison-Madueke’s clique are on the run and some are undergoing trial with her in the United Kingdom,” Magu revealed.
He added, “They are on the run at the moment but we will get them.”
Magu also noted that the EFCC does not claim monopoly fight of corruption, adding that the Senate has the powers to fight corruption as well.
Meanwhile, the EFCC boss has Magu, has said that he does not know how much the commission under him has recovered from national looters so far.
Mr. Magu said this while briefing and responding to questions from Senators during his screening on Wednesday.
Recall that the Senate again rejected to confirm Magu for the second time as the substantive Chairman of the anti-graft agency. This is equally sequel to another letter from the Department of State Services, DSS, to the Senate saying Mr. Magu is unfit to head the anti-graft agency.
The majority of the Senators, in a popular vote, rejected Magu as EFCC’s boss.
However, while responding to questions from the Senators during the screening, Mr. Magu said, “it is difficult to give report on how much has been recovered from fight against corruption.”
This was when Sen. Duro Faseyi asked, “How much funds has been recovered since you took charge of the commission.” Magu simply said, “It is very difficult for me to say.”
Also, Magu was asked why the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) who released money to Dasuki is not being investigated by the commission.
Sen. Misau who asked the earlier question also asked again, “Is it body language of President Muhammadu Buhari that EFCC uses to fight corruption since people close to the President are not being probed?”
The Senator asked again, “Dasuki took money illegally and not a single person from the CBN has been investigated or prosecuted so far? What is the concept of financial crime as stipulated in the EFCC Act?”
In his response, Magu said no body language in the fight against corruption. He said the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari to the fight against corruption is however not in doubt.
EFCC has invited all who needs to be invited. He said, once we can remove corruption in Nigeria, everything will be okay.
Mr. Magu also said that EFCC does not fight corruption alone but that he is aware the Senate fights corruption as well.
However, Magu said he will not be surprised if whistle-blowers are to take the security agents to his house because he now has a big house.