Nigeria: We'll Be Harder On Looters This Year - Magu

23 January 2020

Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu has said the year 2020 will be tough for looters, saying the commission will be "harder" on them.

He said this while speaking with newsmen during his official visit to Ibadan office of the commission.

Magu also vowed that the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, is repatriated to Nigeria to face criminal charges.

The commission had traced a number of criminal activities ranging from abuse of office, bribery, fraud, misuse of public funds and money-laundering to the former minister, who is currently at large to avoid questions on alleged criminal activities dotting her years as a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The anti-graft czar, who wondered why her current country of abode has not surrendered her to Nigeria to face justice, said the EFCC would do everything within its power to get her prosecuted this year.

"We will bring her back to the country this year. We must get her. They (the foreign countries) have no reason to keep her there. This is the fifth year. Why should they be investigating such a straight-forward case for five years. It is a financial crime investigation. It is not a murder case that should linger. The case is straightforward. If they don't have sufficient evidence to establish any offence, they should bring her back. We have more than enough evidence to take her to court," he lamented.

Though, Alison-Madueke is yet to be arraigned in Nigeria, the commission has secured final forfeiture orders against some properties traced to her, including hundreds of assorted jewelry worth over $40 million.

Magu said: "The year 2020 promises to be better and greater as we are poised to work harder and intensify efforts in stamping out corruption in our dear country.

"We will be harder on looters. We will pursue them more vigorously and ensure that they return their loots. We promise Nigerians that we will maintain our standard of ensuring that there is no sacred cow in the fight against corruption."

To demonstrate the hard stance of the commission against corruption, he hinted that a 10 million man-march against corruption will be held across the country.

"It is in line with this spirit that the commission is starting the year's milestone events with a specially-packaged 10million man-march against corruption. Slated for February 14, 2020, the march is organised in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development and the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)."

He disclosed that in line with the strategic position of Ibadan in our national history, the commission considered citing a zone in Ibadan for effective coordination of the commission's activities particularly in the states across the South-West zone.

"The EFCC has particularly benefited from the great visions of great leaders. It is not an accident, therefore, that this premises housing our Ibadan zonal office today originally belongs to Chief Akintola. Again, the property immediately on the right side of our Ibadan office belongs to Chief Awolowo. We feel truly blessed to be hosted by these great achievers of the Yoruba race."

The anti-graft boss underscored the role of traditional rulers in the zone in the campaign against fraud.

He applauded the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III and the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II.

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