The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu has disclosed that the commission has recovered over N794 billion looted from public office in the last three years, following court orders which granted the commission’s prayers for interim and final forfeiture of the looted funds.
Magu made this disclosure while responding to questions from journalists at a conference to mark his third anniversary in office, which commenced on November 11, 2015. He added that the commission will strengthen their capacity to uproot the monster of corruption from the country even as he stressed the need for the Nigerian people to believe President Muhammadu Bahari, who said that “if we don’t kill corruption, then corruption will kill Nigeria.”
“Over $261million (Two Hundred and Sixty One Million,) has been recovered. The Pounds Sterling recovered stands at 1, 115, 930.47 Pounds (One Million, One Hundred and Fifteen Thousand, Nine Hundred and Thirty Pounds Forty Seven Pence). The Euros recovered in the period is: 8, 168, 871. 13 Euros (Eight Million, One Hundred and Sixty Eight Thousand, Eight Hundred and Seventy One Euros, Thirteen Euro Cents). There is also the sum of 86, 500 CFA (Eighty Six Thousand Five Hundred CFA Franc)”, he stated.
He also noted that in the area of conviction, Magu said within the same period the EFCC secured 703 convictions. 103 convictions in 2015, 194 convictions in 2016; 189 in 2017 and 217 from January 2018 till date.
While responding to questions on why he has not been confirmed in the last three years by the Senate, following reports by the Department of State Service, Magu maintained that he is not bothered by the lack of confirmation. He said, “If people are in a hurry to confirm you in this work that I am doing, it means you are not working, it means you are derailing, you are not doing what is required because in this job there is no fear or favour.
“You just concentrate on targets and get the work done, that is the most important. If you are busy lobbying for confirmation you can’t be fair, you can’t be balanced. My only concern is to focus and I want you to help me to be focused, there is nothing wrong in you telling me, Magu, this is how it should be done, do it that way maybe you will have a better result”, he said.
He said despite corruption always fighting back and his life and that of his men being constantly threatened, he will remain resolute in his quest to stamp out corruption out of Nigeria.
He said, “Indeed, the task of fighting corruption in Nigeria has never been, is not and can never be an easy one. The battle to make our dear country a place where foreign investors will be confident to invest in is, without doubt, one that must be fought by all Nigerians who love this country, if we are to make any appreciable progress”.
“Notwithstanding all that, we can still say that overall, for us as an anti-graft agency, it has been, so far, so good. The past three years have been very eventful, and in spite of the obstacles, we have consistently made progress in the areas of convictions, and particularly the recovery of assets stolen from our commonwealth,” he said.
Innnocent Odoh, Abuja