The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has denied claims it was on a witchhunt of leaders of the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party after its continued detention of Olisa Metuh and release of Jafaru Isa, an All Progressives Congress chieftain.
Ibrahim Magu, the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, told journalists Monday that while Mr. Isa had begun the process of refunding the money in his possession, Mr. Metuh had refused to do same.
”From the records, Metuh got over N400 million, he has not said anything because we need the public money to be returned so that it’s going to be used for public good,” Mr. Magu said during a meeting with online media publishers in Lagos.
“Also Jafaru Isa, what Dasuki gave him was N170 million. He also agreed…of course he has collected that money, he was with us for 4-5 days and then he made a deposit of N100 million and entered an undertaking to bring the rest. That does not mean we will not prosecute him.”
“But this other Metuh, instead of going for a refund, he has admitted he collected money…. so instead of… he still has the money because the money is too much. Instead of returning the money, he preferred to go on strike.”
Mr. Isa, a former military governor of Kaduna State, was arrested last Wednesday by EFCC operatives for allegedly receiving N170 million from the embattled National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
Mr. Metuh, the Spokesperson of the PDP, has been in EFCC custody since January 5.
The EFCC boss insisted the Commission is not selective in its anti-corruption war, noting that only people involved in “some certain action or inaction of corruption” are being invited for questioning.
“Nobody who is not corrupt, who is not involved, is with us,” he said.
“In all the cases, we conduct preliminary investigation. We work hard. If it is company you used, we unveil the profile of the company to see who owns the company. If it’s money, we make sure we follow the money, in your account.
“So it is not true that we just go and carry people and dump them. Sometimes you have to give chance to the person accused to say his own side of the story. And in the process the man will disclose a lot of things that you may not know. So it is very necessary for you to follow up on the information received from the person arrested, to strengthen whatever you have.
“We don’t keep people for more than 10-15 days. In fact, in most cases, we obtain relevant court orders. In all cases, if you see we keep somebody, there must be a supporting court order.
“If you are not corrupt, we will not have any cause to invite you. So we only invite corrupt people, no selective.”
Mr. Magu also said he had begun an internal cleansing of the EFCC to weed out corrupt operatives from the anti-graft war.
“I don’t want to disclose what the Commission is doing but I’m telling you I will not work with anybody who is corrupt because there is no moral justification to come and make noise, and chase corrupt people when you are yourself corrupt.
“We do not have sufficient personnel – lawyers, detectives the way we want. But the little we have we try to make use of whatever we can lay our hands on.”