The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has described the case of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke as “more notorious than that of late Sani Abacha (former head of state).
Mr. Magu who spoke on Thursday, September 7, said only about 15 per cent of the allegedly misappropriated funds had been recovered. He vowed never to give up until all the money stolen from the country was recovered.
In his statement during a courtesy visit of the principal officers of the commission, the EFCC boss said:
“We are working on the process of Diezani’s extradition. But we have to allow them (the UK government) because we are collaborating. There is the National Crime Agency and the Crown Prosecution Service in London, and our colleagues, the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in America. We had cause to meet in London. I was there myself for about a week. We are working not only on the Diezani case; but the Diezani case has become a test case.
“It is even more notorious than the so-called Abacha loot because we have not seen anything yet. I’m sure what we have seen is not more than may be 15 per cent. I think it is going to be a long time. That is why sometimes I think we should appeal to the looters to return the loot. Come and tell the government, ‘This is what I have stolen.’ Since you have voluntarily complied with the instruction to bring back the loot, then the government will take a decision. I think it is the best way to go about it, otherwise, the monies would be wasted.
According to Magu, Mrs. Diezani has high connections with people like (Jide) Omokore who are international businessmen. And those of who have private aircraft and doesn’t even live in Nigeria.
He stated that the commission is working with almost all law enforcement agencies in the world who are willing share information about any criminality connected to Nigeria.
“We will go after the criminals because we don’t wait for protocol,” Magu continued. “Delay is dangerous; when you delay you will not see it. So, we are ready to cooperate with everybody and people have shown willingness. Last time I went to the international convention, they said Nigeria should show it experience. So, the whole world at the United Nations level wants to hear our asset recovery experience.”
The anti-graft boss also explained that the EFCC was making efforts to involve experienced lawyers in order to reduce the rate of loss of court cases.
Magu expressed resolve to kill corruption in the country as he called for support and collaboration from Nigerians.
“I sometimes tell people, this rubbish called corruption was caused by my generation. It is our duty to remove it before the next generation so that the next generation will have a better life,” he said
“We are going into massive campaign against corruption. We have seen some good results. People are beginning to change. We want to beg you, let us sustain the momentum. We all have the responsibility to do that. It is about our people and the future of this country. We should do the right thing and give away our today for the better life of the next generation.”
Meanwhile, the Director of Public Affairs, EFCC, Osita Nwajah disclosed that the anti-graft agency has stepped up on measures to ease the burden associated with public complaints.