The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, on Wednesday, alleged that some foreign countries were sabotaging the efforts of the commission in its fight against corruption in Nigeria.
Mr Magu made the allegation while speaking with journalists during an official visit to the Ibadan zonal office of the commission.
Although Mr Magu did not mention any specific country, he said the commission would not be frustrated especially in the case a former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, who has been indicted for graft. and is currently in the UK.
“We are collaborating with everybody including Nigerians in the diaspora,” Mr Magu said. “We have collected a lot of information so as to expose the looters for them to return their loots. For instance, there is a sabotage from foreign partners about the trial of a former Petroleum Minister, Alison Madueke, because they (foreign nations) are giving her protection.”
Mr Magu also said the commission is working with foreign security outfits to bring back the indicted official.
“We have relations with the FBI and CIA. She (Madueke) will be brought down to Nigeria for the continuation of her trial this year because there is no reason for keeping her. She has not been taken to court for the past five years of her trial.
“Why should one issue be investigated for five years, this is a straight forward case. It is a financial crime case. This is a straight forward case, if they don’t have enough evidence, she should be brought back home for trial.”
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mrs Alison-Madueke was arrested in the UK where she fled to in 2015 following after the then president, Goodluck Jonathan, lost the presidential election.
She is being investigated for money laundering in the UK, an investigation Mr Magu referenced as taking too long.
In Nigeria, the EFCC has named her in various corruption trials while properties worth billions of naira have been seized from her.
The EFCC boss noted that the whistle-blower policy of the federal government is still Nigerian Newsactive explaining that it had slowed down considerably due to court processes involved in the entire process of recovering loot.
On the recent raid of suspected internet fraudsters in a night club in Ibadan, Mr Magu said the commission did not only seek to arrest them but also “rehabilitate them into the society”.
He said this is “because these are small and intelligent youth who are still useful to the society.”
“We (only) go against the fraudsters who made their money illegally, and we only do that when we have actionable intelligence,” he said.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how many Nigerians criticized the EFCC for arresting dozens of young men at a club in Ibadan over allegations they were involved in internet fraud.