How interest on N550bn recovered loot was re-looted under Magu — Salami panel


The Justice Ayo Salami Panel probing the suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has faulted the management of the N550 billion said to have been recovered from looters by commission.

The Salami panel, giving a startling revelation from its findings said, it discovered that the interest on the N550 billion recovered by the agency under Magu has equally been “re-looted.”

The panel probing the federal government assets recovered by the EFCC covering the period of May 2015 to May 2020, said, apart from the interests which could not be accounted for, “there is also a difference of N39 billion between EFCC’s deposits in the bank and what the agency said it recovered.”

The panel report read: “It is quite disturbing that conflicting figures are being circulated in the public space by EFCC as the amount of recovered funds.

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“For Foreign currency recoveries, EFCC reported a total naira equivalent of N46,038,882,509.87, while the naira equivalent of the foreign currency lodgment were N37,533,764,195.66, representing a shortfall of N8,505,118,314.21.

“These inconsistencies cast a serious doubt on the accuracy of figures submitted by the EFCC. It is the committee’s view that the EFCC cannot be said to have fully accounted for cash recoveries made by it.

“While EFCC reported total Naira recoveries of N504,154,184,744.04, the actual bank lodgments were N543,511,792,863.47. These discrepancies mean that EFCC’s actual lodgment exceeded its reported recoveries by N39,357,608,119.43.

“It must be pointed out that the discrepancy of more than thirty nine billion naira does not include interest accrued in this account since it was opened.

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“It therefore cast serious doubt on the credibility of the figures and means that substantial amount of money has not been accurately accounted for.

“Failure to report on the interest on actual lodgments clearly establishes that interest element of over N550 billion has been re-looted relating to the period under review.

“This is an apparent case of manipulation of data in a very brazen and unprofessional manner and this has greatly eroded the public confidence in the anti-corruption efforts.”

In an investigative report credited to the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), referenced in the final report of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets (PCARA), earlier published by TheDailyLeaks, the Justice Salami panel, said the submission also “exposed acts of corruption and money laundering” against Magu and some EFCC officials.

The Justice Salami panel said: “The NFIU reports established that the Acting Chairman has been using different sources to siphon money from the EFCC, and in some cases collecting bribes from suspects.

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“The report has shown that a particular Bureau de Change, owned by Ahmed Ibrahim Shanono linked to the Acting Chairman based in Kaduna has more than 158 accounts and has been receiving huge sums of funds.

“The link to Magu was also established by the payment of N28 million to a close associate and ally of the Acting Chairman.”

The embattled suspended EFCC boss, Magu’s has been kept in police custody, since his arrest last week, over series of allegations levelled against him by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, accused him of mismanagement and lack of transparency in managing recovered assets by the EFCC against Magu, claiming he had used recovered looted funds for self enrichment.

Consequently, Magu was suspended, President Muhammadu Buhari, and immediately approved Mohammed Umar, as a replacement for the EFCC top job, pending the conclusion of the investigation.