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How Magu re-looted interest on recovered N550bn – Panel

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Mine is a case of 'dog eat dog', but I won't give up - Magu

The Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets (PCARA) indicted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) under Ibrahim Magu, suspended acting chairman of the EFCC, of re-looting recovered loot.

The panel probed the federal government assets recovered by the EFCC from May 2015 to May 2020.

According to NAN, the panel discovered that the interest on the N550 billion recovered by the agency under Magu was re-looted.

It said in addition to the unaccounted interests, there is also a difference of N39 billion between EFCC’s deposits in the bank and what the agency said it recovered.

“It is quite disturbing that conflicting figures are being circulated in the public space by EFCC as the amount of recovered funds,” the report read.

“For Foreign currency recoveries, EFCC reported a total naira equivalent of N46,038,882,509.87, while the naira equivalent of the foreign currency lodgment were N37,533,764,195.66, representing a shortfall of N8,505,118,314.21.

“These inconsistencies cast a serious doubt on the accuracy of figures submitted by the EFCC. It is the committee’s view that the EFCC cannot be said to have fully accounted for cash recoveries made by it.

“While EFCC reported total Naira recoveries of N504,154,184,744.04, the actual bank lodgments were N543,511,792,863.47. These discrepancies mean that EFCC’s actual lodgment exceeded its reported recoveries by N39,357,608,119.43.

“It must be pointed out that the discrepancy of more than thirty nine billion naira does not include interest accrued in this account since it was opened.

“It therefore cast serious doubt on the credibility of the figures and means that substantial amount of money has not been accurately accounted for.

“Failure to report on the interest on actual lodgments clearly establishes that interest element of over N550 billion has been re-looted relating to the period under review.

“This is an apparent case of manipulation of data in a very brazen and unprofessional manner and this has greatly eroded the public confidence in the anti-corruption efforts.”

The panel is also said to have revealed how the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) investigation “exposed acts of corruption and money laundering” against some EFCC officials, including Magu.

“The NFIU reports established that the Acting Chairman has been using different sources to siphon money from the EFCC, and in some cases collecting bribes from suspects,” the report added.

“The report has shown that a particular Bureau de Change, owned by Ahmed Ibrahim Shanono linked to the Acting Chairman based in Kaduna has more than 158 accounts and has been receiving huge sums of funds.”

Magu is currently being probed by a panel headed by Ayo Salami, retired president of the court of appeal.

He has been suspended while President Muhammadu Buhari approved Mohammed Umar as the acting EFCC chairman pending the conclusion of the investigation.

Earlier on Saturday, Garba Shehu, presidential spokesman, said Magu’s probe shows the presidency is serious with the fight against corruption.

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