Anti-Corruption War Must Be Fought Like Jihad – Magu

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has urged Nigerians to support the current administration in the fight against corruption and engage in the fight like a jihad in order to free Nigeria from the grip of the corrupt persons.

Magu said this on Sunday in a lecture he delivered at the 7th convocation and 10th anniversary of the Fountain University, Osogbo in Osun State.

Speaking at the convocation of the university established by NASFAT, the EFCC boss, whose lecture was delivered by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Olanipekun Olukoyede, said just 55 persons stole N1.3tn between 2006 and 2013.

This amount, Magu said, could fund massive infrastructural development in many sectors and could train almost 4,000 children from primary school to university with a budget of N25m for each of them.

Magu said it was disheartening that these few corrupt persons had turned round to wage war against the commission and the administration using various means including the same people they had impoverished.

The EFCC boss said Nigerians should not leave the anti-corruption war to President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice-President Yemi Osunbajo and the commission alone, saying every Nigerian must support the anti-graft war with the aim of winning it.

He said, “This was why I said we owe it to ourselves, it is a jihad for all of us to wage the war against corruption. It is unpatriotic and a shirking of our responsibilities as citizens to fold our arms and leave the fight against corruption to President (Muhammadu) Buhari, Vice-President (Yemi) Osinbajo, the EFCC and a handful of others. We are all stakeholders in the fight against economic and financial crimes; together we can defeat this evil.

“Indeed, corruption could have killed Nigeria if the rate at which corruption was festering then had not been checked. Take for instance, the money stolen by just 55 people between 2006 and 2013 is well over N1.3tn. One third of this money, using the World Bank rates and cost could have comfortably been used to construct 635.15 km of roads; built 183 schools; educate 3,974 children from primary to tertiary education levels at N25.24m per child; built 20, 062 units of 2-bedroomed houses across the country and do even more.

“The cost of this grand theft therefore is that, these roads, schools and houses will never be built and these children will never have access to quality education because a few rapacious individuals had cornered for themselves what would have helped secure the lives of future generations, depriving them of quality education and healthcare, among others.

“But the corrupt, using sponsored people, claim that they are being prosecuted because of the region they came from, the religion they profess, or their ethnic identity. They do their utmost not to answer the all-important question of whether or not they are guilty of the corruption allegations against them.”

Magu stated that the EFCC had recovered N738bn in about two years due to the support of the President and the commitment of the agency to stop corrupt officials from further plunging the nation into underdevelopment.

He said the EFCC was oblivious of the ethnic background or religious belief of corrupt persons when they were being investigated, saying those playing up the ethnic cards were doing so to whip up sentiments in order to go scot-free with their loots.

He, however, said that the EFCC would not relent in its efforts to stop corruption in the country despite the series of brutal attacks launched by the corrupt persons against him and the commission.

But the Osun State Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, while addressing the gathering, said it would be extremely difficult to tame corruption as long as the nation depended on “unearned fund” from crude oil.

The governor said corruption was not really the main problem of the nation but laziness, stressing that Nigerians would be very vigilant and would stop corrupt persons from stealing their money if the people worked hard to generate fund for the government.

He said so many people did not know the process of extracting crude oil but they depended on proceeds from its sale.

He added that Lagos State with an average internally generated revenue of N41.7bn per month, was the only state that had weaned itself from the dependency on oil money.

Argbesola said, “Is corruption really our main problem? We are largely lazy. To tame corruption in a rent-seeking economy will be very difficult. I am not in anyway antagonising Magu but what I am saying is that a society that depends on rent can hardly eliminate corruption.”

He advised Nigerian youths to use the insult hurled at Nigeria by the United States President, Donald Trump, to spur them into serious work, critical thinking and innovation in order to create jobs and make the country a better place to live in.

Source: PUNCH

Magu, Daura Appear Before Senate Panel

Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu and the Director General of the DSS, Lawal Daura, are before a Senate panel to discuss the clash between EFCC and DSS officials.

The clash began when operatives of the EFCC attempted to arrest former head of NIA, Mr Ayo Oke, and the former DSS DG, Ita Ekpeyong on November 21.

It was gathered that the EFCC operatives had arrived at the official residences of the former heads of the agencies located at numbers 21 and 46, Mamman Nasir Street in Asokoro, Abuja to effect the arrest only to meet resistance by the operatives of the NIA and DSS.

Read Also: DSS, NIA Operatives Stop EFCC From Arresting Oke, Ekpeyong

Thereafter, the Senate on November 22 mandated an ad-hoc committee to investigate the cause of the incident and report back to it.

Subsequently, the EFCC stated that it had obtained two separate warrants from a court to arrest the former bosses, adding that it also got the permission of the court to search their residences.

Reacting to the situation afterward, the EFCC boss, Magu, said there is no going back on the plan to have the former heads of the security agencies arrested.

“We are not discouraged at all. The law must take its course, nobody is above the law,” he said.

Ekpeyong who served as the head of the DSS from 2010 to 2015, had been invited by the EFCC for his alleged role in the arms scam involving a former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retired), and other service chiefs who have since been arraigned.

Oke, on the other hand, was recently sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari over the N13 billion found in an Ikoyi, Lagos apartment, said to belong to the NIA.

MURIC Accuses “Corrupt Politicians” Of Trying To Kill Magu

A Muslim group, the Muslim Rights Concern has revealed those attempting to eliminate the Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu.

The group, while threatening that heads would roll if anything happened to Magu, accused powerful corrupt politicians of trying hard to silence Magu forever.

MURIC, in a statement on Wednesday, signed by Professor Ishaq Akintola, leader of the group, lamented that powerful corrupt politicians want to eliminate the EFCC boss.

It could be recalled that unknown gunmen attacked Magu’s residence in Karchi Abuja two days ago, which led to the death of his police security officer.

MURIC’s statement reads, “Unknown gunmen have again attacked the house of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu. A police sergeant on duty was reportedly killed on the property located at Karshi, an Abuja suburb two days ago.

“Being the third attempt on the life of the EFCC boss this year alone, there is no iota of doubt at this time that a powerful corrupt person or persons whose case or cases are being investigated are determined to eliminate the no-nonsense anti-graft fighter.

“The handwriting is on the wall and the Federal Government must give marching orders to the nation’s security agencies to leave no stone unturned in the mission to protect Magu. Some powerful people just want him out of the way by hook or by crook. They want anyone else except Magu as head of the EFCC.

“This man should not just be sacrificed like that. He is not fighting a personal battle. He is on a mission to rescue Nigeria from the abyss of moral debauchery. He is fighting for both the present and future generations. Corruption must not be allowed to win the battle. Nigerians will lose hope in this war if the arrowhead is eliminated. We believe it is high time FG read the riot act to the security agencies. Heads must roll if anything happens to Magu.

“MURIC demands round-the-clock impregnable security network around the person of Magu, his house as well as members of his nuclear family, no more, no less. No option should be underestimated, including his consumables and the possibility of the use of explosives anywhere around his vicinity. This is not asking for too much because any successor of Magu will have been intimidated if the latter is eventually eliminated. The implication of this for the war against graft is better imagined.”

EFCC Advises Fayose To Face Task Of Governing Ekiti And Stop Baseless Accusations

Following the accusation of the Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose saying the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had given Femi Falana properties from the recovered pension funds, the commission has released a statement to address the accusation.

Read the full statement below;

‘The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) takes exception to the attempt by the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, to impugn the integrity of its Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, over the management of assets recovered from pension fraud suspects. The governor, who addressed the media today in Ado Ekiti, was quoted as saying that respected Lagos lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana, “was one of many highly placed Nigerians who allegedly were compensated by the EFCC and Ibrahim Magu with properties retrieved from corrupt government officials.’

‘This is the most irresponsible allegation, coming from a governor of a state. Will Fayose, in good conscience be able to name the “prominent Nigerians’, that the EFCC and Magu supposedly ‘dashed seized properties to curry their favors’?

‘The EFCC does not need to ingratiate discerning Nigerians to win their support. The Commission’s record and the uncommon commitment of Magu to the fight against corruption is the reason why patriots like Falana would openly identify with the Commission’.

‘Magu and the EFCC did not give out any property, being suspected proceeds of crime, to anybody. The Commission never received any property from Abdulrasheed Maina and could not be compensating people for what does not exist. If Fayose has evidence to the contrary, he is at liberty to call another world press conference to expose all the prominent Nigerians’.

‘Otherwise, he should face the task of governing Ekiti and the challenge of accounting for his stewardship as his tenure hits the homestretch’.

Seized N13bn: Ikoyi Whistle-blower Threatens To Sue FG

The lawyer of the whistleblower who informed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of the $43m, N23.2m and £27,800 (N13bn) recovered from an Ikoyi apartment, Yakubu Galadima, has said his client is prepared to sue the Federal Government for fraud if he is not paid his money soon.

Given that the 5% payment as stated by the whistle-blowing policy is yet to be made to Galadima’s client, the Punch reports that the lawyer said “That (suing the government) is one of the options but we have many options. Before now I had a discussion with Alhaji Lai Mohammed who directed me to speak with a lady in the office of the Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Tolu Kasali. I had a discussion with her and she told me that she would see what the government could do about it.

“My client’s concern is that time is of the essence. The guy wants to relocate from the country. There is no time and his life is in danger. He is jobless at the moment. He is not doing anything right now and in fact he is a burden on me.”

The lawyer said his client had also suffered psychological trauma caused by the Federal Government’s inaction.

Earlier, the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has tied the delayed payment to the commission’s decision to hold counselling sessions for the whistleblower on prudently managing his bounty, as he is “now a millionaire.”

EFCC Officials Under Probe For Corruption, Says Magu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says some of its officials are currently being prosecuted for corruption in various courts across the country.

The Acting Chairman of the commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, disclosed this at an interactive session with Editors in Abuja on Wednesday.

Magu, who did not immediately give the number of the affected officials, said he would not condone any act of corruption in the agency.

“Recently, we had to discharge about nine cadet officers because they have problem with their certificates from various institutions.

“We are also prosecuting a lot of officers. Some of them are already in court.

“There is a way you can help us. Just like you can help us with information regarding corrupt practices outside the EFCC, and proceeds of corruption, you can also assist in giving us the information.

“But, I assure you, I do not tolerate, I won’t condone any act of corruption in the EFCC.

“ I cannot be everywhere but I am telling you I don’t spare any allegation no matter how little, we make sure we investigate.

“No allegation against the EFCC personnel is left uninvestigated. Even if there is allegation against me, we will refer it to the appropriate authority to investigate.’’

The EFCC boss said that the ongoing anti-corruption war was getting tougher, saying the fight had never been this tough in the several years he had spent in the battle.

He reiterated his call for concerted efforts by all stakeholders, especially the media, in the fight.

`Nobody will claim ownership, nobody has a better knowledge than the other person, nobody has a monopoly of knowledge in the fight against corruption.“We need everybody on board now that the fight against corruption is getting tougher. I have been in this business for a very long time; it has never been this tough like now.

“Some of us feel that it is our generation that caused corruption. So, we have a responsibility to clear the debt.

“Please don’t get tired because it is about Nigeria, it is not about individuals. All of us have a responsibility to God Almighty to fight corruption.

“Let us double our efforts. From the way we are going, they have already failed. It is almost half won, but we must sustain the momentum.’’(NAN)

EFCC Under Magu Deserves Commendation – Ribadu

The former chairman of the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu has commended the current acting chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu and his team of staff for their confidence and courage in staging a gallant anti-corruption fight in Nigeria.

He said EFCC deserves the support of all well-meaning Nigerians to carry on with the war against corruption.

Mallam Ribadu made the remarks while delivering  keynote address at an event”Following the Money community gathering organised by Connected Development (CODE) with the theme “The Power of Grassroots Mobilisation in Social Accountability” held at the Silverbird Galleria in Abuja, yesterday.

He said “I am of the opinion that Ibrahim Magu and his team are doing a great job and they need the support of all well-meaning Nigerians. I know how tough this work is, and I can appreciate the challenges they are contending with. We must support and encourage them.”

“Not because we like or dislike them but because they are offering a selfless national service, and they are doing it very well.”

Mallam Ribadu said Nigeria is currently witnessing essentially a classical case of state capture in which individuals, including those in high public office, use their position to undermine the state and its policies because of their personal interest.

“Unfortunately, some people who supposed to be part of efforts at restitution are colluding with those who have stolen our commonwealth to frustrate the work of those who are genuinely committed in reversing the ugly trend. And as this unholy alliance of corruptpeople in and out of government takes root, it is us, the ordinary Nigerians, that are the victims,” he enthused.

He opined that those who have been a stumbling block to the warb against corruption clearly do not understand or feel the biting impactof corruption.

“If they do,” he said, “they would not put up the kind of resistance we are currently witnessing in the efforts to make a success of the anti-corruption war.”

The former EFCC chairman said “Nigerians must also stand to be counted on the intractable issue which poses a bigger challenge, the corruption malaise. Importantly, at a time like this, when a clear line is remerging, demarcating agents of progress and those of bent on stopping them, as citizens, we have a duty not to be on the fence but make a clear choice between these contending forces.”

Most Nigerians Don’t Believe Corruption Is Bad – Magu

Mr Ibrahim Magu, the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has said some Nigerians do not believe that corruption is bad, saying corruption over the years has impeded the growth of Nigeria.

Magu, who spoke at the Project on Support to Anti-Corruption in Nigeria, organised by the National Orientation Agency (NOA), called on stakeholders of anti-corruption not be discouraged with the way corruption is celebrated in the country.

He further advocate for a grassroots mobilisation and sensitisation of Nigerians, especially youths on the dangers of corrupt practices on their future.

“So we should not be discouraged by corruption being celebrated, this is the only country where they said stealing and bribery should not be punished. We should have the will to win, and I’m telling you that if we maintain the tempo, we will win.

“Two months ago we were at a similar stakeholders summit where we called all our friends to join in the fight against corruption and we gave them room to criticise what we are doing and later we analysed the criticisms and then forged ahead. This was done because we realised that in fighting corruption, you need the support of everybody, and we also realised that we do not have the monopoly of knowledge in the fight against corruption.

“We need to emphasise on the preventive aspect, we need to create awareness among the people because some people don’t believe that corruption is wrong, so it is very necessary for us to put our hands together to come out and fight corruption.

“We have the appropriate political goodwill that is the most important ingredient we need to fight corruption, there is no doubt about the political will, there is no doubt about the commitment of the leadership of this country to fight.

Furthermore, Magu said “we have passed the level of trying to see the cause of corruption, we should find the solution to corruption, we must fight corruption, I think we should emphasise on fighting corruption, and there is no best one strategy of fighting corruption. I can assure that whatever took you find, you fight corruption, but the most important thing is to mobilise the people both inside and outside, in the villages, anywhere you find yourself, sensitise the people, target the youths in particular because they are more in number; we are doing this to give them a better life in the next generation.

“We have to key in to expose the corrupt practices and in exposing all sorts of corruption still in smuggling, let’s fight and kick corruption out, we should not be discouraged, because that is the only thing that can guarantee a better life for the next generation.”

In his address, the Director General of NOA, Dr Garba Abari, said “Nigeria is facing the real danger of becoming a country where persons who have acquired ill-gotten wealth become role models for the younger generation.

“Most of our youths today want to drive exotic cars, build exotic houses, wear expensive designer clothes and perfumes without necessarily working hard to legitimately acquire the resources to make these dreams come true.

“With its massive structure of offices in the 36 states, Abuja and 774 local governments in Nigeria, NOA is eminently positioned to lead this attitudinal change campaign on the issue of corruption aimed at getting our youths to again begin to appreciate the virtues of hard work, integrity, industry, education, nation building and excellence.”

Osinbajo Seeks For Help Over Magu

The Presidency has reiterated its stance that certain federal appointments should not require the Senate’s confirmation.

To this end, it is set to seek Supreme Court opinion on this.

It said the refusal by the Senate to confirm the appointment of the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, had more to do with politics than with the law.

This is the position of a legal advisory prepared by judicial and legal experts as a working document in the Presidency on the differences in the constitutional interpretations on matters of certain federal appointments

The Senate had on July 4 passed a resolution suspending all issues relating to the confirmation of nominees and urged Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to respect the constitution and laws as they relate to nominees’ confirmation.

But the presidency’s legal advisory, concluded that a judicial pronouncement, “preferably by the Supreme Court, is what will settle the matter.”

A government source noted Sunday night that though it was the view of the Presidency that certain federal appointments should not require the confirmation of the Senate based on Section 171 of the Constitution, the present administration had continued to send such appointments to the Senate pending the ultimate judicial interpretation of the matter.

According to the source, “The advisory which affirms the powers of the President to appoint in acting capacity into positions such as the EFCC chairmanship, also notes that in the recent past, the ministerial nomination of Late Prof. Abraham Babalola Borishade (Ekiti State) by President Olusegun Obasanjo was rejected repeatedly by the Senate. In fact, it would be recalled that this particular nomination was presented four times in 18 months before it was eventually confirmed by the Senate.

The source, who sought anonymity, said the advisory unearthed a ruling of the Supreme Court on the matter where the current Chief Justice of the Federation, before his elevation as CJN had ruled in line with the view of the presidency on the matter.

He said it was inaccurate to say the federal government or the presidency had started to act unilaterally on its own interpretation of Section 171

He said: “This is because, even after the Acting President, (who spoke when he was Vice President in support of the view of some leading lawyers) the Presidency has continued to send nominations to the Senate both while the President himself was around and while away by the Acting President.

“Since the time the Acting President spoke and when Senate recently expressed its disagreement we have been sending nominations severally including into the INEC and other boards and commissions. So we are clearly not acting unilaterally based on our own interpretation of the law, even though we believe firmly we are right

“Here is the point, the presidency believes that Section 171 is clear that certain appointments do not require Senate consent, but the presidency is not already behaving as if it’s interpretation of the law has become a policy.

“The presidency is persuaded that its interpretation is the correct one, but we are conscious and aware of the fact that only a proper judicial ruling on the matter would make it a settled policy that sits right with the rule of law. That is why we have not stopped sending all manners of nominations to the Senate, most of which the Senate has actually confirmed, even well after the Acting President spoke.

“In fact the conclusion of the legal advisory on the matter is very clear that a judicial pronouncement preferably by the Supreme Court is what will settle the matter. According to that legal advisory, the divergent positions being held by the Executive and the Legislature on the subject of confirmation is one that requires timely and ultimate resolution. Such resolution could only be reached through judicial process. Such interpretation would lay to rest the lingering crises between the two arms.”

Source: PM News

Acting EFCC Chairman Visits Rivers Chief Judge

Clarification was made in a statement issued by the Spokesman of the EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwujaren on Tuesday.

Uwujaren said Magu’s visit to Iyayi-Lamikanra was a courtesy call as part of his working visit to the headquarters of the South-South zonal office of the commission in Port Harcourt.

“Apart from the Chief Judge, Magu also visited the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed.

“Indeed, it is a matter of routine courtesy for the EFCC boss to visit critical stakeholders, particularly law enforcement and justice sector leaders in zones where the commission maintain offices.

“Such gestures are not meant to compromise or influence them to favour the commission in the discharge of their responsibilities,’’ he explained.

The EFCC spokesman said the clarification was in reaction to a report in a national daily purporting that the visit was causing disquiet in the state.

He quoting the report as saying “the state House of Assembly is considering passing a resolution calling for the suspension of the chief judge for receiving Magu’’.

Uwujaren said an anonymous source told the paper that the lawmakers believed the visit had put the Chief Judge under pressure, and that it was wrong for Magu to visit a judge over any case.

Uwujaren noted that the visit was pursuant to the commission’s belief that it had a shared responsibility with other workers in the justice delivery system to promote the fight against corruption.

According to him, visits such as this one offer the commission the opportunity to share experiences and remind the hosts of their responsibilities under the EFCC Act, especially as it concerns the designation of judges to handle EFCC cases.

“Justice Laminkara is not the first Chief Judge to host Magu and it will be distasteful to malign her over a civilised gesture of receiving a head of a federal agency.

“Many judges have hosted Magu without a whimper from any quarter. Before now, the EFCC boss visited the Chief Judges of Lagos, Ogun and Oyo States.

“At the federal level, he has paid courtesy visits to the Chief Judges of the Federal High Court, the Federal Capital Territory High Court and the President of the Court of Appeal.

“These visits have not stopped the commission from losing cases before judges under the supervision of these respected judicial officials,’’ he said.

We Will Soon Start Teaching Corruption Courses In The University – Magu

The acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu has said the agency will soon begin its anti-corruption programme in universities across the country.

Magu disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday on the sideline of the opening ceremony of a capacity building workshop on the use of beneficial ownership information and the recovery of assets in Africa.

“We are already talking with the universities; we are looking at starting with the University of Lagos and Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) where we will launch the programme.
 “There is something on the ground to also reach out to the universities as student’s union leaders have disturbed me over issues in the sector.

“The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) leadership visited me last week and this was part of their complaints.

“We assured them that we are going to join them and launch the anti-corruption programme and we need them too because we are protecting their future,” he said.