EXCLUSIVE: Paris Loan Refund: Nigeria’s 36 governors threaten war with EFCC chair, Ibrahim Magu

Nigerian Governors Forum
Nigerian Governors Forum

Governors of Nigeria’s 36 states have threatened to declare war on the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, over what they described as “unwarranted attack on the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, its officials and associated entities,” presidency officials familiar with the matter have told PREMIUM TIMES.

The EFCC has in the past weeks been investigating the governors’ handling of the Paris Club refund made to states by the Federal Government, and has invited officials of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) secretariat over the matter.

The anti-graft commission accused the governors of making some unclear payments to consultants which helped the NGF in computing and negotiating the refund due to each state of the federation.

The EFCC also blocked an Access Bank account belonging to the NGF, a development that led the Forum’s chairman, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, to storm the presidential villa to protest, our sources said.

Our sources said the meeting between Mr. Yari and Acting President Yemi Osinbajo held on January 30.

“The governor met Vice President Osinbajo saying he has the mandate of his colleagues to request him (the VP) to call Magu to order or that the governor would do all they can to defend their integrity and that of their states,” one of our sources said.

“The governor said should Magu continue to harass the NGF, the 36 governors would strike in a way never seen before.”

Mr. Yari was further quoted as telling Mr. Osinbajo that Mr. Magu had in the past weeks subjected officials at the NGF secretariat to “harassments and ceaseless interrogations.”

“We have done nothing wrong and we view this onslaught on the NGF as a fishing expedition designed to embarrass, humiliate and insult the 36 governors for perceived or imaginary wrongdoing,” the Zamfara governor is quoted as saying.

“We urge urge you to call him to order or we will fight back whichever way we can.”

The EFCC is asking the NGF to explain payments made to Mallam Alu Agro Allied Limited, Melrose General Services Co. Ltd, Bizplus Consulting Services Ltd., Bina Consults & Integrated Services and other consultants and legal experts.

But in explaining the payments, Mr. Yari reportedly told Mr. Osinbajo, “As a duly registered organisation, we, in the course of our work engage consultants and experts in areas where we do not have in-house capacity and these consultants and experts are paid for the services they render.

“The right to engage staff and other experts and professionals to carry out work on behalf of the governors is within the purview of the NGF and we are hard put explaining the current development.

“We fear that the harassment has gone on for too long without any signs of abating and we are urging you to call this man (Magu) to order and desist from any further harassment of our officials and consultants.”

In his response, the acting president was said to have thanked Mr. Yari for calling his attention to the matter and pleaded with him and his colleagues to be patient while he looked into the matter.

PREMIUM TIMES however learnt that the governors are not taking the matter lightly, and have fixed a general meeting for Wednesday in Abuja.

Laolu Akande, the spokesperson for Acting President Osinbajo could not be reached to comment for this story.

But the Director General of the NGF, Asishana Okauru, confirmed that Mr. Yari recently met Mr. Osinbajo over the matter.

“I don’t know the details of their discussion, but I am aware the two leaders met,” Mr. Okauru said. “I am also aware that the governors are very angry with what appears a deliberate attempt by the EFCC and its leadership to malign them and to feed the media with misinformation.”

Mr. Okauru said contrary to reports, he was never arrested over the matter at anytime, but that he willingly responded to enquiries by EFCC operatives.

The spokesperson for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, declined to comment saying he was not aware of the meeting between Mr. Yari and Mr. Osinbajo.

Mr. Uwujaren however later issued a statement saying the EFCC investigation on the matter was still at a preliminary stage and that no governor had so far been indicted.


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  • Tunde

    Well done EFCC! No more deals shrouded in secrecy! Why are you paying consultants! We must know? How many months salary do you owe your civil servants! Wake up and smell the coffee, the game has changed!

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  • mybros

    Hmmm, the real reason they dont want Magu is now becoming obvious.
    But like I always said, the chicken has now come home to roost.
    On Magu we stand and Magu all the way against these thieves !

    • Layo

      Yes. Magu all the way. But why are the civil societies silent on a lot of issues, that thief Hembe should also be recalled, he is always fingered in soliciting for bribe.

      • Peter_Edo

        Because we DONT have real civil societies. Most of the ones that exist belong to one political heavyweight or another to be used when needed. Not for the good of us!

  • blueeyedkitten

    we said we wanted change, but we’re killing the change with our own hands. rubbish!
    buhari meant it when he was talking and campaigning about change; unlike these folks who were just paying lip service.
    now that the chips are down, they’re buckling. hypocrites!!

  • Eugene Jefferey

    It is time we protest against the Governors, Legislature and Judiciary….no Lawyer must stand in for Corrupt officials or person, also we must hold the Governors accountable…time has come.No more suffer Nigeria

    • absam777

      Mike Ozekhome the cash and carry lawyer would love this.

      • Suleiman Alatise

        I doubt that, he’s in soup already.

  • Galantman

    I’m always happy when I see our governors jittery and angry because now eyes are on them to check mate there usual massive looting. Most of these governors have no conscience and are very very wicked and heartless. May God continue to expose and deal ruthlessly in anyway possible with the thieves of our collection wealth.

    • Yankeeboy007

      Okorocha is the most heartless out of all of them,he makes no pretence he is just there to loot and further his interests.

  • joelaw

    Mr Yari should stop ranting like an ant. He should answer two simple questions; 1. How much do governors pay as consultancy fees, 2. What are these difficult mathematics of governance they can’t solve among the 36 of them among whom are PhD holders, Engineers and Lawyers. I think Magu was simply getting too close for comfort. Governors are a huge part of the Nigerian problem, they handle state finances as if it is their personal fund, some of them are thieves. Yari should go and sit down somewhere.

    • Yankeeboy007

      “Some of them are thieves” All are them are unrepentant looters.

      • Peter_Edo

        NOT all, I don’t think Obaseki is a thief, now Oshiomole on the other hand….

        • Yankeeboy007

          Obaseki will soon join his fellow Governors in looting.

  • www.electionoffenders.ng

    The Presidency has been unable to get the NASS to make their budget public, the Presidency has been unable to get to the root of allegations against Saraki. Why on earth do you believe the Presidency can take on the Governors Forum.?

    If EFCC follows this case through then i will very very surprised.

    I don’t really know where President Buhari stands on this fight against corruption.

    There is no half way treatment for cancer. Its either you get rid of the cancer or you dont. Buhari is not yet ready to get of the cancer because hes fighting this battle halfheartedly.

    If Magu is the man i hope he is, he should threaten to tender his resignation if the presidency pressures him to back off.

    This administration has the opportunity to turn Nigeria around for good but they are just not ready to do the needful.

    shame.

    • Kamalu

      Your seeming conclusion that President Buhari is doing a half hearted fight is clearly misguided. Recall that the fight almost kissed the dust until the administration soon discovered the Judiciary to be the key undertaker against the fight. The continuing shakeup of the Judicial Arm of government seem to have restored some sanity and the fight is taking flight once again. I personally see the President’s commitment to the fight and the only missing link is that majority of his ministers and top government officials both at the executive and legislative arms are not committed to the fight and the visions of the President. The vacuum that leaves only the President as the visioner and sole executioner of the war requires to be filled by a critical mass of the society made up of civil society, the press, youth organisations, artisans etc. More precisely that critical mass is me and you and let us join hands and complement the President

  • zacchaeus Akinleye

    Only the guilty are afraid. If they have handled these funds transparently and judiciously why is Gov. Yari threatening fire and brimstone? A nation with majority thieves out of 36 governors is in a death spiral. REPENT NIGERIA OR PERISH!!!

  • Africa

    Trust corruption to always fight back… Magu keep up the good work, your effort is yielding positive results.

  • javscong javscong

    This Mr. Yari says that the NGF is a duly registered company and, therefore, has the right to operate as it pleases, within the confines of the law. For me to accept that, the NGF must show: 1) source of funds. 2)published accounts with evidence of payment of federal taxes. 3) vat registration and proof of remittance of vat. 4) names and addresses of its directors and shareholders. 5) proof of deduction and remittance of paye taxes. If the NGF’s source of funds is from the Federal government, then not only the EFCC but all Nigerians have a right to know what the body is up to. These governors must assume that the immunity they enjoy overflows to other entities such as the NGF which from all indications, is a special purpose vehicle for corruption.

  • tunde

    I have commented several times people go into government in the country to steal money because the penalty is light and unless there is change in the mindset there will be no solution to exessive looting and nonaccountability which is order of day .

  • Watch man

    “The governor met Vice President Osinbajo saying he has the mandate of his colleagues to request him (the VP) to call Magu to order or that the governor would do all they can to defend their integrity and that of their states,” one of our sources said.

    Which integrity are you talking about? Integrity my foot! All of you governors are part of the corruption destroying Nigeria. If not because of the docility and criminal resilience of Nigerian masses most if not all of you would have been kept where you belong – prison. I pray that Magu will build enough case file that would await you thieves when your tenure is over so that you will all be prosecuted.

  • Akiika

    Let’s await wailer in chief Sunday Njokere to come and spin the story to blame Bubu.
    I still wonder what these thieves can do that will spark a revolutionary protest from Nigerians. Nigerians are just too docile electorate, only does e-activism albeit sentiment laden comments.

  • sammyctu ode

    Nigerian governors are one of the biggest problems of nigeria’s development. They sit on trains spend the money anyhow. Each of them have billions as security votes each which they don’t account to nobody. How many of them have keyed into PMB’s anticorruption war?. NONE PERIOD! NIgerians are not fooled by those threats from dumb yari and his corrupt colleagues. As far as Nigerians are concerned can go to hell. Twice PMB has given them money to pay and clear salaries of workers yet most of them are still owing workers 7 months salaries. Just last week the dumbo in balyesa got N99Billion from FG in 2016 yet he is still owing salaries and pensions up to 7 months. All these sharkaras by these useless corrupt so called governors are just that cos Nigerians are wiser and ready to defend their rights.

  • Wetin Naija

    One of the biggest thieves in Nigeria are the governors. These thieves believe that they are not accountable to anyone.

  • thusspokez

    “The governor met Vice President Osinbajo saying he has the mandate of his colleagues to request him (the VP) to call Magu to order or that the governor would do all they can to defend their integrity and that of their states,” one of our sources said.

    These first-class Nigerian looter-cum-mumu governors should find a copy of the Nigerian constitution and take it to bed for bed-time reading. They are in effect, asking the VP or President to commit an impeachable offence on their behalf. What bunch of nincompoops.

    • Peter_Edo

      Bros, e come be like say you come dey see things from OUR PATRIOTIC perspective. God bless you nor be small! But I don’t think it’s all the governors even though mumu yari thinks he is speaking on all their behalf.

  • Ibukun Bandele

    Armed ROBBERS IN OFFICIAL UNIFORMS STEALING FROM THEIR OWN PEOPLE, MAY IT NEVER BE WELL WITH YOU FOR MULTIPLE GENERATIONS

    • ubong

      God will not answer this prayer because he had given you everything you need in term of knowledge to defend your rights.

  • Vigal

    Most Nigeria state governors have time and time again proved to be looters. Now they have resorted to using consultants to make large withdrawals from public account. I can bet you that none of these consultant companies have been in existence for more than 4yrs. Why are they panicking when asked to demonstrate accountability, they can strike all they want, am sure the masses don’t need most of them. Majority of them were never voted into office in the first place.

    • ubong

      They are not panicking but do what you and i know, bullying knowing that you and i are empty noise makers that do not confromt problems or bite. They know you and i see president Buhari as the only Nigeria problem for trying to bring sanity to our highly corrupt elected officers and people in position of trust. Nigerians governors know if their colleagues, most of tgem who lootrd their states with impunity coukd be celebreated as senstors, ministets and returnee convicts, then who is Magu, a corrupt Nigerians police officer to harass them. Nigerian problem is we the mumu nigerisns thay talk about party instead of good governance and consitent peacrful protest to maje sure these abusrs hy political representatives is stopped no matter the party. Until we are ready, people like saraki and his highly endemically corrupt colleagues in NASS wil contonue to make a mockery of uou and i. Buhari is not Nigeria problem.

  • Suleiman Alatise

    Why the fuss then, if you have truly done nothing wrong. Please carry go Magu,we are loving it.

  • Gary

    They actually have an official body and corporate set up for the Nigerian Governors Forum.
    For what purpose and whose interest? How are the officials paid and by whom?
    Can anyone please try to make any sense of this as I’m completely befuddled? Does Nigeria now allow for establishment of formal lobbying agencies? How do you lobby on behalf of Governors representing different and competing political parties and platforms?

    How do you fight corruption and allow a Governors Forum coordinating access and sharing of public funds?

    Can PT please look into the names behind the consultants working for the NGF? So when it comes to sharing loot, there are no party differences and all our Governors are united?
    Wonders will never cease in Nigeria.

    • Kamalu

      At the Nigerian Governors Forum, their common interest is for the Governors to protect their loots and to intimidate and blackmail just anybody including the President. With due respect to his cluelessness Goodluck Jonathan was a key victim of the same rogue organization then led by Rotimi Amechi of Rivers State. One leg to the thieving administration of Jonathan was the nuisance of the NGF although one must admit that the cancer festered from a rotten head.

  • Du Covenant

    What does the NGF offer to Nigeria or Nigerians?. It is nothing but a club for the MOST corrupt humans on the face of this planet. Nigerian governors are those responsible for taking Nigeria backward out of greed!. State and the local government are the hottest bed of corruption in Nigeria, if these scum of the earth honestly know how to run all the respective sates and provide for infrastructure, we would have been a different country. They steal with impunity, spend scarce resources on themselves in a society where there is no accountability, how does anyone justify the recklessness with which our governors behave?. Nigerians are still sitting tight in light of such outrageous arrogance, why can we match to the State houses and sack all of them?, after all it is the people that ‘voted’ them…..No wonder the fight against corruption in Nigeria has been relegated to only one person (President Buhari), they have all gone quiet and have continued to steal with impunity!!!!. The sooner this nonsensical forum gets disbanded the better because they serve no ones interest but theirs.

  • Okokondem

    Isn’t it clear today that no substantive success would be achieved in the efforts to combat corruption and graft in our country unless the public gets seriously involved. I am referring specifically to well organized demonstration and nonviolent civil disobedience as done in most civilized societies. Why do Nigerians not do that? The embezzlement boon will continue because those stealing our common welfare have concluded that Nigerians are all BARK and no BITE.

    So, we can continue to assemble here, and every other platform where Nigerians gather to complain, often argue amongst ourselves in frustration, or we can say we ain’t gonna take it no more. I’m really getting sick of waking up each day to yet another allegations of stealing (which by the way is corruption).

    Imagine the intensity of push back by these governors whenever there is question of accountability. All this bellicosity and posturing is nothing but an attempt to intimidate the anti crime agencies to back down. They succeed in this strategy because the anti crime agencies don’t feel the people are behind them or fully committed to the fight against corruption and they are right.

    • Peter_Edo

      Most well meaning Nigerians support Magu. But most of them dey fear too…

  • Usman

    why been disturbed if you are innocent?, bloody thieves

  • Kamalu

    It’s laughable and a shame that Nigerian Governors think they are emperors that cannot be called to questions. Majority of the rogue governors who have actually siphoned their States Paris Club refunds like the one sitting in Abia State will be the ones hiding under the umbrella of the Nigerian Governors Forum to push for an onslaught against Mr. Magu and EFCC.
    One can only encourage EFCC for a more rigorous scrutiny of whether FG Allocations to States are being utilised for the good of the people or for the pockets of some thieving governors. And that the Anti graft Agency should not give into to the blackmail and intimidation of the governors.

    • BURNING SPEAR

      The job of Magu, the drug addict and head of efcc–now blackmailing the Apes in APC—-is to investigate corruption related issues——and not to witch–hunt perceived enemies of Bingo Buhari ati Osibanjo—In that he must always en-devour to have the facts before he is allowed to launch an attack on suspects———-What efcc often does is to go to the media with fake stories even before investigating the matter—–Again how many Fulanis have been put in the dock since the inception of efcc——which as we all know has outlived her usefulness since her creation by Obj—

      • Kamalu

        You are surely an instrument in the hands of thieving politicians. Corruption fighting back. And may God call you to repentance before you will rot in hell with the devil.

      • Patriotism

        A typical biafraud animal of the ZOO

      • Peter_Edo

        You need to do us all a favor and kill yourself.

  • BURNING SPEAR

    The job of Magu, the drug addict and head of efcc–now blackmailing the Apes in APC—-is to investigate corruption related issues——and not to witch–hunt perceived enemies of Bingo Buhari ati Osibanjo—In that he must always en-devour to have the facts before he is allowed to launch an attack on suspects———-What efcc often does is to go to the media with fake stories even before investigating the matter—–Again how many Fulanis have been put in the dock since the inception of efcc——which as we all know has outlived her usefulness since her creation by Obj———————————————————–

    • Patriotism

      A biafraud animal of the Zoo

      • BeLovedByGod

        Thank God everyone is avoiding you and no one cares about your out of topic madness.
        God bless everyone that avoided this hater. He Has no place in responsible discussion.

  • Ijeuwa

    OH, how deeply corruption has eaten into the fabric of our nation. So asking disturbing questions about how our commonwealth is being spent by governors is now something that will make the 36 governors to “strike in a way never seen before.”

    This is a classic case of corruption fighting back.

    If the governors have done nothing wrong, why all the huff and puff? Let them answer the questions and shame Magu instead of running to daddy president or acting president to protect them. There are still too many people who believe they are untouchable in naija. But the game is changing slowly.

    Anybody still wondering why Magu hasn’t been confirmed by the senate?

    • Peter_Edo

      My brother them confirm am oh, dem nor confirm am oh, bros Osbj don approve am! And e go dey dere dey coz trouble for all them tif tif. Meanwhile, I dey find where dem keep money hide make I go collect my 5%

      • David Adeniran

        I need to be a WHISTLEBLOWER too, please give me a clue if you have one!

  • Ashibogu

    Breaking News! Nigerian Governors Protest Magu’s Infringement of their right to loot

  • Joe Chucks

    It is their right and time to loot. Even Magu is looting, PMB and all the rest of the cabals are all looters.
    who is deceiving who in this country?. How did those that sponsored PMB recoup their monies spent?.
    They are all deceivers and pretenders.

    • Patriotic

      Your reasoning is of biafraud of the Zoo.

    • Powerlessconscious

      Biafraud. Everything is fraud.

  • LionHeart

    Please return any stolen money. You governors may have immunity but at the same time are not above the law.

  • Lanre

    Nigeria. The land ruled by crooks, rogues and thieves. Read this piece with popcorn in one hand and just laugh. Afflicted people with a deranged leadership. No Redemption. None!

  • BenAri22

    Thieving Mafia. Your rottenness is now exposed for all the world to see! Governors? No, criminals.

  • Netanyahu

    You can’t do that until we change the stunningly corrupt police. Not until the police stops arrogating to itself the POWER to approve which group should be allowed to protest or not, we are going nowhere. And so long as there are some people out of hate or mischief or ignorance supports the police and the govt in power to stifle the opposition and opposing views, the absurdities will continue. And so long as buhari made the fight against corruption his personal fight and not that of everybody and the institutions, the whole efforts will be in vain. Nothing has changed in states and local governments. It’s still business as usual. Fighting corruption in Abuja does not translate to fighting corruption in Nigeria. Shielding govt officials investigated and indicted by say the DSS does not help the fight.

  • FirecloudOFGOD

    Look at them, hefty petty thieves, no shame! The people are behind honesty, integrity and hard work. The days of remorseless criminals like you, flinging your power around indiscriminately will soon coming to a shocking end. Wait and see.

  • Isaac Azor

    It’s a pity a forum like this has come out openly to defend corruption. But it is a reflection of what went on in the states. Almost all the governors shot-changed their states and are determined to defend their actions. I weep for my country Nigeria. May God have mercy on us.

  • Lord save Nigeria from Nigerians!

  • Champ

    Magu must fight them

    • absam777

      Not Magu alone, we must ALL fight them.

  • Teflonjones

    Yari should have flashed Buhari on phone to receive a call back. After all Buhari calls everyone, even on trivial issues like Saraki’s love for working late.

  • alabi olubunmi

    It is simple. If no one is fighting.magu, then.he is one of them. If there are many people against him.and fighting him, then that means he is doing his job well. If he wasnt doing his job well, the senate would clear him once and the governors would be having dinner with him. Carry on Magu. Those who are ready to clean the system always face fierce opposition. That is Nigeria for you.

  • Nd Kay

    Please, somebody help! Does the refunded money belong to the Governors’ Forum or to the States? Why would any kobo of it be domiciled with the forum?
    If this is not enough for the NLC and Civil Society Organisations to mobilise the workers and masses to seek unequivocal acaccountability, I wonder what is.

    • Inieke Akpan Ekuma

      It was governors that highjack government from President Shehu Shagari it is governors that mislead GEJ let protest

  • Inieke Akpan Ekuma

    Sorry I didn’t down vote you but rather I stand by your opinion

    • breakin’ news

      Breaking News:
      ……………………

      “A N125 million building purportedly rented for Senate President Bukola
      Saraki by the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) could not be traced
      by TheCable after several searches. The property is said to be located at Plot
      973, Mban Close, off Pope John Paul Street, Maitama, Abuja, rented at N50
      million per year on a two-year tenancy, with fees and VAT bringing the total
      cost to N125 million. The only problem, though, is that Plot 973 could not
      be physically traced”.

      • Artful ºDodger

        Channel your info to the senate. Nothing to do with Buhari, do not get confused.

  • Aminu Mahmoud

    Why the Governors crying more than the bereaved?let the consultants cry first if actually the monies belong to them.

  • Artful ºDodger

    How in hell does anyone who have nothing to hide come out angrily to defend a situation he claim ” they ve not done any wrong”? If you have nothing to hide why are y’all scared?

    The EFCC asked a question, what did you pay the consultants with state funds for? It is not in the constitution of Nigeria that state resources should also be used to fund governors forum. You governors chose to have one so it ought to be financed from your own personal pockets.
    EFCC, ride on, Nigerians are behind you!

  • Moh’d Maiha

    Let us wait and see this drama: EFCC vs NGF

  • David Adeniran

    You can see PDP, APC and APGA very united in corruption! All the Governors are very united since they all have something to hide! Nigeria is still far from destination.

  • Segun Abayomi

    Our governors are stinking lyrics fraudulent….and they have the guts to defend their thieving.

  • objective

    I just love this Magu man. Go on, write your name and that of your generation in gold. 1 x million Gbosas to you and EFCC joooo!.

    “We have done nothing wrong and we view this onslaught on the NGF as a fishing expedition designed to embarrass, humiliate and insult the 36 governors for perceived or imaginary wrongdoing,” Zamfara governor.

    My question to the Zamfara man is : If you have done nothing wrong, why worry? There is no peace for the wicked! This time, we are going to try them according to the Laws of their states. Lol.

    Your Excellency The Acting President, please allow Magu do his work. The people are on your side; dont listen to rantings.

  • michael

    This is a big drama we about to find out.

  • jikangidado

    Go on with the good work Mr. Magu.. “Allah na bayan mai gaskiya” and there is nothing they can do to you, they are just crying wolf…