Magu Fights Back, Says Recovered Loots Don’t Generate Interest - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Magu Fights Back, Says Recovered Loots Don’t Generate Interest

ABUJA - The suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has refuted allegations that he re-looted interests on recovered funds, saying such claims are false.

Magu also dispelled the allegation that he placed N550 billion recovered loot in a deposit account, stressing that the alleged transaction never featured in the proceedings before the panel headed by former president of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami.

The presidential committee on audit of recovered assets (PCARA) allegedly indicted the EFCC under Magu of re-looting recovered loot.

The panel had probed the federal government assets recovered by the EFCC from May 2015 to May 2020.

The presidential panel had accused Magu of re-looting the interest on the N550 billion recovered by the EFCC.

But Magu’s counsel, Wahab Shittu in a statement described the claim as blatant falsehood, stressing that the recovered funds are lodged in the treasury single account (TSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

He further stressed that the funds in the TSA do not generate interests.

The statement said, “It is falsehood that Magu placed N550 billion recovered loot into a deposit account.

“The alleged transaction never featured in the proceedings before the Salami panel. Magu was never confronted with any such allegation by the panel and the news is blatant falsehood.

"To the best of Magu’s knowledge, no such amount is in any such account and he remains aghast at such outrageous figures. No one has confronted Magu with such allegations.

“All recovered funds are lodged in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Such recovered funds do not generate interest. This is elementary and can be verified from the CBN and the federal ministry of finance.

“This can also be confirmed from other government revenue generating agencies. Funds kept in TSA account do not generate interest,” the statement added.

Magu who was arrested on July 6 by a combined team of officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) and 10 force criminal investigation department (FCID), Abuja, is currently being interrogated by the Justice Ayo Salami-led panel.

Meanwhile, the EFCC secretary, Olanipekun Olukoyede, and directors of the commission, were invited for another round of interrogation by the panel just as the investigation over alleged mismanagement of recovered loot and selling of seized assets to associates under Magu’s tenure entered it’s sixth day.

The EFCC secretary and the directors were last week invited by the panel to provide information on the handling of the recovered loot.

However, Olanipekun and the directors, who were said to have worked closely with Magu, were grilled for hours by the presidential panel yesterday.

Magu who was suspended by President Buhari last week, was also quizzed by the panel sitting in the villa.

Allegations against Magu included alleged discrepancies in the reconciliation records of the EFCC and the Federal Ministry of Finance on recovered funds, declaration of N504b as recovered funds instead of N543b found in the CBN recovery account.

He was also accused of insubordination to the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, (AGF).

Magu was accused of not providing enough evidences for the extradition of Diezani Alison-Madueke and alleged late action on the investigation of P&ID leading to legal dispute.

These are some of the allegations listed in the memo sent to President Muhammadu Buhari by the attorney-general of the federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN.

Meanwhile, the general overseer of Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministries International, Abuja, Prophet Emmanuel Omale has sued the News Agency Of Nigeria, over a report he described as malicious, derogatory and libellous with the caption, “How Magu Used ‘pastor’ To Launder Re-looted Funds Abroad – Report”.

Omale, in a letter written by his lawyer, Chief Gordy Uche (SAN), and obtained by LEADERSHIP, is demanding for one billion naira as compensation, a retraction and apology.

Part of the letter read, “Our client’s attention has been drawn to the extremely malicious, derogatory and libellous publication with the caption – “How Magu Used ‘pastor’ To Launder Re-looted Funds Abroad – Report” by your Reporter, one Isamaila Chafe, posted on your website – on the 11th day of July 2020.

“We, however, wish to make the following clarifications to put the public records straight: That our client is the General Overseer of an Inter-denominational/Multi-religious Prayer Ministry, which Mr Ibrahim Magu attends; Our client, only visited Mr. Ibrahim Magu in a Hospital in Dubai, United Arab Emirate, sometime in March 2020; Our client never laundered any funds whatsoever for Mr. Ibrahim Magu, nor for anybody whatsoever; Our client does not own any foreign bank account anywhere in the world.

“There are no funds whatsoever traceable from Mr. Ibrahim Magu to our client’s Bank accounts whatsoever neither has our client received any funds whatsoever from Mr. Ibrahim Magu. Our client has never received any funds whatsoever from anybody on behalf of Mr. Ibrahim Magu; Our client does not own any property in Dubai.

“His name was never used to purchase any property whatsoever in Dubai, United Arab Emirate or anywhere else in any part of the world, neither has he purchased any property or properties for Mr. Ibrahim Magu in any part of the world whatsoever.”

The letter also added “we wish to state that by reason of the said libellous publication which was read by millions of persons all over the world, our client has been severely injured in his reputation, character and calling. Our client has thereby been brought into ridicule, public scandal, hatred, denigration, odium and contempt, and lowered in the estimation of right-thinking members of the society.

“We, therefore, demand the immediate retraction of the libellous publication by way of an unequivocal apology to our client prominently published in at least three National Newspapers not later than seven days from the date of your receipt of this letter and that you restrain from further defamation of our client forthwith otherwise, a libel suit against NAN will commence you, your Organization, claiming the sum of N1, 000,0000,000.00  as exemplary, aggravated, general damages for defamation, and for an injunction if you fail to comply.

“Further take notice that this letter constitutes our formal notice of intention to sue.”

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