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Provide evidence that I diverted funds, Magu challenges Malami, Presidential Committee

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Ibrahim Magu, the suspended acting chairman of  Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has challenged Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice as well as the Presidential Committee on Asset Recovery to provide evidence that he diverted funds belonging to the commission.

“Not a dime of the recovered funds was fraudulently converted to my personal. I challenge my accuser to produce evidence of such fraudulent conversion,” Magu said in his response to the petitions against him.

His response was contained  in a long letter issued since his ordeal began on July 6 following arrest by security operatives on his way to the Police Headquarters, Abuja.

The suspended EFCC chief is being investigated by a Special Presidential Probe Panel following allegations levied against him by Malami and the final report of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets (PCARA): Mismanagement and Lack of Transparency in Managing Recovered Assets.

Magu  who spent about 10 nights in detention while being interrogated by the probe panel in his defence argued that the allegations were targeted at him in order to tarnish his name and the image of the Commission.

“I unequivocally deny this allegation as same is untrue and merely calculated to tarnish my name, the Commission, and the giant strides this administration has achieved in the fight against corruption and recovery of proceeds of unlawful activities,” he said.

He further alleged that the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation has either interfered in the workings of the Commission under him or less supportive.

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“On the contrary, in several cases under investigation, recovery and management of assets, the office of the HAGF (Honourable Attorney General of the Federation) has either interfered with the process or has been less cooperative and supportive,” Magu alleged.

According to him, he was not invited by the Presidential Committee to defend himself against the allegations before he was indicted.

“I was not invited by the Committee to defend myself and the Commission before the purported findings were made. That fair hearing demands that I should not be indicted without being heard.”

On allegations on inconsistent amount of funds recovered by the Commission according to PCARA, Magu said the Committee must have failed to take note of some recoveries.

“The figures reported by PCARA may not have taken note of third party recoveries that would have been transferred to the respective beneficiaries directly.”

“Such direct beneficiaries include; Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Nigerian Customs Service, commercial banks, corporate organisations and private Individuals,” Magu’s letter read in part.

 

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Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via labolade@icirnigeria.org, on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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