By Adenike Lucas
Nigerians went to the polls in 2015 to elect a new President. They voted for President Muhammadu Buhari on the basis of change and the promise to kill corruption.
But for over a year, staff members at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have exposed horrid details of their corrupt boss, Ibrahim Mustafa Magu.
In a recent petition to the Senate, EFCC staffers accused the acting chairman of embezzlement. Mr Magu, whose nomination as 4th substantive chairman was rejected due to an indicting report by the state police, has been described as “deceptive” and a “liability to the corruption fight.”
A former staff accused Mr Magu of benefiting from asset recovered by Abdulrasheed Maina, the former Chairman of Presidential Reform Taskforce Team, PRTT.
Senator Emmanuel Paulker has since confirmed that Mr Magu’s EFCC shared among itself 222 properties recovered by Mr Maina’s taskforce.
Althought the EFCC released a statement to deny the allegation, staff conversant with the matter say the Senator has “told the truth.”
David Adodo, chairman of concerned federal pensioners, said: “The defunct Maina Led Pension Reform Task Team recovered assets worth N1..63 Trillion from alleged Pension looters working with the EFCC, ICPC, DSS, POLICE and PARAMILITARY AGENCIES staff, who executed the recoveries and thereafter EFCC took custody of the recovered assets.
“EFCC as a member of the Maina Led Pension Task Team has the statutory powers to bank and take custody of the recovered assets. But today, will EFCC give account of these assets? (222 houses/ hotels, investment portfolios, cash and jewelleries).
“I don’t want to believe that Magu and Lamorde have embezzled these assets just like how former EFCC Chairperson Farida Waziri accused Nuhu Ribadu of stealing all recoveries under his tenure as EFCC Chairman and Ribadu has never responded to date.
“Hence, the Defunct Pension Reform Task wishes to request President Muhammadu Buhari to inaugurate a Commission of Inquiry with very honest law and law enforcement officers from the DSS and the Ministry of Justice, to investigate the whereabouts of these assets from the EFCC.”
The Senate President may have laid some credence to staff allegations when he spoke at a retreat “Strategic Retreat on Tracking the Progress of Anti-Corruption Bills in the National Assembly” on Tuesday.
“In related matters, Nigeria is finding it difficult to convince other nations to return funds looted from our treasury. This is because of the other nations’ exasperation over the management of returned assets,” he said.
“Only recently, Mr. President inaugurated a committee to audit all assets recovered by various government agencies,” he continued.
“An ad hoc committee of the Senate, which is investigating some administrative infractions in the Executive, has discovered that many properties recovered from a fugitive from the law have not been accounted for by the investigating agency.
This gives the global community great concern about the commitment of Nigeria to the anti-corruption drive.”