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Magu: I didn’t divert recovered loot

The suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) Ibrahim Magu, has denied all the allegations of corruption in the discharge of his duties in the last five years. Magu said that contrary to the perception created by his detractors, he never diverted any recovered loot to his private account as all such funds were domiciled in a dedicated account at the Central Bank of Nigeria. In his response to the allegations of gross misconduct brought against him by the Attorney general of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami, Magu described the allegations as false and a calculated attempt by some people to tarnish his image.

The denials were contained in a formal response Magu wrote to the Presidential Investigation Panel which was set up to investigate the allegations levelled against him. The embattled anti-corruption crusader said he served the EFCC with utmost good faith and accused Malami of interfering with his duties and denying the EFCC the cooperation that the agency needed to advance the war against corruption. Magu lamented that he was not given fair hearing before being dragged before the panel headed by Justice Ayo Salami, a former President of the Court of Appeal.

Magu, who appeared taken aback by the insinuations that he was corruptly enriching himself by converting the recovered assets in to his private estate, challenged his traducers to produce the evidence of such acts. Under the current structure of the EFCC, he said, it was impossible for any individual to tamper with recovered loot and other forfeited assets.

He argued that even when a search is conducted and cash recoveries were made, such funds were promptly counted, recorded and kept in the safe custody of the Exhibit Keeper who later lodges these funds in the designated account. Magu said that he was neither a signatory to the account nor ever authorised any withdrawal from the said account for any reason. He also denied the allegation that physical assets such as landed properties and vehicles forfeited to the EFCC were allowed to waste away. He said that on the contrary, the EFCC under his watch did a lot to ensure that the government derived maximum economic value and benefits from such assets.

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