Suspects who return stolen funds may still be prosecuted – Magu

FILE PHOTO: EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu with members of the NBA
FILE PHOTO: EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu with members of the NBA

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has said the commission could still prosecute suspects even after they have returned stolen money to the treasury.

Mr. Magu had said in recent press interviews that the EFCC had recovered billions of naira, especially from its ongoing investigations into the $2.1billion arms money allegedly diverted by former NSA, Sambo Dasuki.

In his first detailed interview since his appointment in November, Mr. Magu told The Interview in its February edition, that “what matters first and foremost is for everyone involved in the arms deal scam to return the money he or she may have collected. That does not preclude such suspect from facing prosecution.”

He said this while answering a question on whether the EFCC would enter plea-bargaining with suspects or waive prosecution if stolen funds were returned.

The EFCC Chairman said the rat race for wealth among public office holders was one of the major reasons for rampant corruption in the country.

“Political offices in Nigeria are too attractive,” he said. “This encourages a rat race of sorts. Also, the judiciary, which is the last resort, has allegedly been complicit, making civil servants who have been found guilty of corruption feel confident to poke the law in the face and go scot-free.”

Mr. Magu said Nigerians should be outraged at the amount of money originally set aside for the war on Boko Haram, but “which was diverted for personal use.”

He said this was just one of the many cases of looted funds being investigated by the EFCC.

“There should be a national outrage by now,” Mr. Magu said. “There is something wrong with our values. Corruption has been celebrated over the years.”

The EFCC Chairman said allegations against the commission that its anti-corruption war was politically motivated was proof that corruption was already fighting back.

Mr. Magu also spoke on his first meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari; his efforts to clean up the commission; and whether or not he might break the one-term jinx that has plagued the chairmen of the commission since its founding in 2003.

A statement by the Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of The Interview, Azu Ishiekwene, described the edition as, “our gift to our growing community of readers beyond Valentine.”

Also in this edition, the founder of Saharareporters, a leading online news platform, Omoyele Sowore, spoke about the odysseys of the platform in its one decade of existence this month. Mr. Sowore called out former President Olusegun Obasanjo for “letting corruption ruin Nigeria,” on his watch and reflected on his encounter with, Gbenga, son of the former president.

In another interview in the edition, Sam Adeyemi, pastor of the 20,000-strong Daystar Christian Centre, said, “religion that does not change your thinking is useless,” as he fielded questions on the church, politics and leadership.

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  • AFRICANER

    This Magu guy and his mindset that corruption only happened in the past, and is just a matter of forensic determination, is not only myopic, but silly.

    Corruption is happening NOW!

    He is supposed to be seldom heard from, his actions should be in the courtrooms, he should be transparent, expose those who have returned the money, tell us how much, or shut up!

    Follow the law.

    • smart choice

      Magu should shut up and get corrupt elements behind bars! Why is he dancing naked in thethe media?

  • Otile

    Nigeria can follow the way of China to develop. At first Chairman Mao banned all imported goods, cut ties with predatory foreign market forces, shunned borrowing money from World Bank, killed all coupists and ex-coupists, hanged all known corrupt officials, made education free for all citizens, rewarded scholars specializing in science and Math. He then looked inward, promoted unity and justice for all, checked religious extremists, abolished polygamy, checked excessive population growth, and emphasizednationalism.

    Today China is self-sufficient, 2nd most powerful economic power in the world. Here in the Republic of Nigeria Buhari is
    a non-starter. He is not doing anything useful to mankind. He is nepotistic and anti-science. His policies are not the way to develop a nation.

    Don’t get me wrong, I do not hate Buhari. The problem is that he does not know any better, his advisers and appointee do not
    know any better either. There are many Nigerians from every zone who can move the country forward, but such people are often ignored or clamped down by the corrupt forces.

  • XRAY

    Nigerians want the names of those who have returned their loots published with the amounts returned before prosecution that is the kind of transparency we are looking up to and not the shrouded behind the scene matters. We all want to know the real enemies of this country and they should go to jail and banned for life from public office.

  • Burning Spear

    The immediate past governor of Rivers State and current Minister of Transport, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi illegally acquired and diverted not less than N40 billion of Rivers State funds into the presidential campaign of the All Progressives Congress (APC) which saw the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as President, emerging details are revealing.

    Funds running into billions of naira were unaccounted for in sleazy misappropriations allegedly facilitated and presided over by the former Rivers State governor. Sources informed about the shady deals under Amaechi availed SIGNAL, details that show how Rivers State’s treasury was emptied into private concerns of the former governor as well as the APC presidential campaign.

    In October 2015, a Judicial Commission of Inquiry, set up to investigate the sale of state assets in Rivers State under Amaechi demanded the immediate prosecution of Amaechi and all his cronies involved in the illegal sale of Rivers State assets. According to the panel report, Amaechi misappropriated over N97 billion in the sale of the state valued assets.

    “The commission recommends that the former governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, along with his former commissioners for Finance and Power, Dr. Chamberlain Peterside and Augustine Nwokocha, respectively, should be held to account for their roles in the sales of the power generation assets of First Independent Power Limited and the disbursement of the proceeds therefrom.

  • Man_Enough

    Magu, if you want to leak honey, don’t stair the bees. You are scaring those with intention to return money. If I have to return money and still face prosecution then I’d rather go down fighting.