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Interest on recovered N550bn was re-looted under Magu, Presidential Investigation panel reveals

The suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu has been alleged by the Presidential Panel investigating the activities of the anti-graft agency that the commission under Magu re-looted some of the recovered loot.

This was made known by the presidential panel after probing the federal government assets recovered by the EFCC from May 2015 to May 2020.

The Presidential Panel in its final report disclosed that investigations showed that the interest on the N550 billion recovered by the agency under Magu “has been re-looted”.

The panel in its report also said there is a difference of N39 billion between EFCC’s deposits in the bank and what the agency said it recovered.

The report in part reads

“It is quite disturbing that conflicting figures are being circulated in the public space by EFCC as the amount of recovered funds. For Foreign currency recoveries, EFCC reported a total naira equivalent of N46,038,882,509.87, while the naira equivalent of the foreign currency lodgment were N37,533,764,195.66, representing a shortfall of N8,505,118,314.21.

These inconsistencies cast a serious doubt on the accuracy of figures submitted by the EFCC. It is the committee’s view that the EFCC cannot be said to have fully accounted for cash recoveries made by it.

While EFCC reported total Naira recoveries of N504,154,184,744.04, the actual bank lodgments were N543,511,792,863.47. These discrepancies mean that EFCC’s actual lodgment exceeded its reported recoveries by N39,357,608,119.43.

It must be pointed out that the discrepancy of more than thirty nine billion naira does not include interest accrued in this account since it was opened. It therefore cast serious doubt on the credibility of the figures and means that substantial amount of money has not been accurately accounted for.

Failure to report on the interest on actual lodgments clearly establishes that interest element of over N550 billion has been re-looted relating to the period under review.

This is an apparent case of manipulation of data in a very brazen and unprofessional manner and this has greatly eroded the public confidence in the anti-corruption efforts.” the panel’s report states

According to report, the panel also revealed how the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) investigation “exposed acts of corruption and money laundering” against some EFCC officials, including Magu.

“The NFIU reports established that the Acting Chairman has been using different sources to siphon money from the EFCC, and in some cases collecting bribes from suspects.

The report has shown that a particular Bureau de Change, owned by Ahmed Ibrahim Shanono linked to the Acting Chairman based in Kaduna has more than 158 accounts and has been receiving huge sums of funds.” the report states

An investigation into Magu’s activities commenced on Monday, July 6. This was after the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami wrote a letter to the President asking for Magu’s dismissal. Malami in the letter accused Magu of re-looting recovered funds, insubordination among other offenses.

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