EXCLUSIVE: EFCC Compromised Cases Under Magu Worth N333 Billion, $2 Billion, Salami Panel Says

The presidential panel that probed Ibrahim Magu said the compromised cases under the watch of the former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were estimated at 333 billion naira, $2 billion and 13 million of pounds sterling.

In the final report submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2020, the judicial panel said that the functioning and management of the anti-corruption commission during Magu’s tenure was characterized by impunity and arbitrariness, TheCable can report.

Usman Zakari, an officer of the commission, allegedly spoiled 23 deals worth 45 billion naira, while the commission was accused of breaching procurement processes.

The panel headed by Ayo Salami, former president of the appeals court, was set up to probe the EFCC from May 2015 to May 2020 when Magu was in charge of the agency.

TheCable understands that the report has now been submitted to the office of the Secretary to the Federation Government.

A panel to produce the white paper will soon be set up, presidency sources have informed TheCable.

When TheCable contacted Wahab Shittu, Magu’s lawyer, to react to the report, he declined to comment, saying he would not speak about a document he had not seen.

“The EFCC has awarded the contract for the New Headquarters Consultancy Services at the rate of N451,318,501 instead of the BPP approved N399,243,290. The Committee observes that the EFCC has become accustomed to not engaging in the use of the default procurement method (open tender). The EFCC, in some cases, extends/renews contracts without obtaining approval from competent/appropriate authorities,” the panel said.

“Observations made by the EFCC on the status of the investigation by area offices have revealed some officers who are notoriously engaged in brazen compromises on cases. The relevant cases have either been closed or kept in view. (KIV) by dubious agents.

“The compromised cases in naira denomination involved the sum of N333,535,364,077. The compromised cases in US dollars are valued at $2,521,011,976. Compromised cases calculated in sterling denomination are valued at £13,143,570. One of the agents identified as Usman Zakari has dubiously kept in view 23 different cases, with offenses ranging from money laundering, embezzlement, obtaining under false pretences, all involving a total sum of N45,262,005,908.

PANEL: EFCC HAS NO USER MANUAL

In the final report, the panel further stated that some of the EFCC zonal offices lack basic working equipment and vehicles, and that the working system of the commission is archaic.

The panel called on the government to order the EFCC to subject its staff to periodic screening by the relevant security agency.

“The EFCC does not have an approved service regulation/programme and operations manual that guides the management and operations of the commission. The EFCC legal department is assessed by the commission as dysfunctional, as the department is fragmented without a clear leadership structure,” the report states.

“Some of the common findings from the annual internal audit exercise are poor exposure management systems (outdated financial instruments, unfortified showroom, uninsured exposures despite huge volume of cash often in the custody of custodians In addition, exhibits brought to court by investigators were sometimes not returned to the custodian of exhibits, while no case reference number is indicated on the exhibits and exhibits exhibits are handed over to intellectual property offices without the mandatory deposit); exhibition guards are not properly trained.

“Poor categorization of confiscated assets into provisional and final; some confiscated assets were occupied without the occupants paying rent, and in some cases the suspects are still occupied or retain control. Lack of good procurement planning; lack of standard operating procedures (SOPs); inadequate work tools for EFCC area office staff to improve their performance; and there was no clear internal audit program.

The panel recommended that the EFCC Act be amended to give an explicit oversight role to the attorney general of the federation over the commission.

TheCable previously reported how the panel accused Magu of dropping 14 procurement fraud cases involving N118 billion and $309 million.

In addition, he allegedly failed to hand over another N48 billion loot in foreign and local currency recovered from suspects.

TheCable reported how Magu was accused of ignoring a 431 million naira security vote allocated to his office between 2015 and 2020, when he used some of the money to pay electricity bills from his personal farm and subscribe to cable television in his private residence.

TheCable also reported how the panel accused Magu of killing high profile cases while prosecuting internet fraudsters known as the ‘Yahoo Boys’

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