N24 Billion EFCC Office: Magu Scored Self High on Prudency

Corruption, News, Nigeria

The acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has defended the agency’s “modest” spending of N24 billion on its new office, despite public criticisms of the huge cost in a depressed economy and huge public debt profile. Magu claimed that the spendings are modest and public spending on such building should really have cost N100 billion.

The acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has defended the agency’s N24 billion new office, brushing aside criticisms about the huge cost, and claiming it is a modest amount for a building that should cost N100 billion.

A visibly angry Mr. Magu on Wednesday took strong exception to the scrutiny that followed the EFCC’s completion of the new headquarters in Abuja.

The 10-floor building is about 95 percent completed as at May 9 and is expected to serve as the operating base for the anti-graft body.

Politicians have hailed the completion, but anti-corruption campaigners and other citizens are instead keeping their eyes on the cost, especially coming at a time that the agency itself is complaining of poor funding that hampers its basic operations.

“You are not being fair,” Mr. Magu said when asked by media to respond to the controversies around the N24 billion price Wednesday. “If you go and bring any valuer, they will value it for not less than N100 billion.”

Mr. Magu took a select group of journalists on a tour of the building Wednesday afternoon, during which he took questions which were restricted to the new building. The anti-graft chief refused to take questions about his own activities or those of the EFCC in recent months. 

The tour is part of ongoing efforts to raise public awareness to the building before formal opening by President Muhammadu Buhari on May 15.

He explained the cumbersome and expensive procurement process that culminated in the successful execution of the new head office, located at about 12 kilometers southwest of Abuja’s Central Business District.

“That shows prudence, that shows transparency,” Mr. Magu said.

Suspicions have escalated within the past two weeks when Mr. Magu began gloating about the building, which was built by the construction firm, Julius Berger.

The acting EFCC chairman told The Nation last month he was “excited that the headquarters is ready for use” and placed it at an offhand price of N24 billion.

“I will crosscheck to give you the exact figure,” he added.

The skepticism that ensued following the revelation last month gained traction online Tuesday after the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, led other lawmakers on a tour of the facility.

Mr. Saraki praised Mr. Magu and his last two predecessors for putting in their best to complete the building for the agency, which was established in 2003.

magg[Acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu]

The agency has been renting offices and official quarters for most of its staff at its branches across the country, including in Abuja where hundreds are currently putting up in a rented apartment.

On November 24, 2010, Yayale Ahmed, then Secretary to the Government of the Federation, proposed the new building to the Federal Executive Council and later got an initial release of N18 billion for it.

A few weeks later, Sahara Reporters published concerns about how Julius Berger won a ‘no objection’ procurement certificate to build the office, alongside a slew of other allegedly questionable contracts award by President Goodluck Jonathan’s cabinet at the time.

The new office includes a mid-size parking facility, three detached buildings, including a clinic, a generator house, and a 33KV step-down transformer station.

Martin Obono, an Abuja-based anti-corruption campaigner, said the EFCC has no justification for spending N24 billion on a single office at the expense of not only the taxpayers but also some of its staff.

“It is not feasible that N24 billion would have been spent on that building,” Mr. Obono said. “It is too expensive for a so-called anti-corruption agency.”

Mr. Obono said the EFCC could build a befitting office for its operations in each of the 36 states at the price of N24 billion, especially since hundreds of staff members operating away from the head office in Abuja would still be putting up with offices that are not conducive.

“Over the past few months, we have heard the EFCC raise alarm about how poor funding is hindering its operations,” Mr. Obono said. “So why should the same agency spend such a humongous amount on an office complex that would only occupy a few people.”

Several departments and directorates are expected to be moved to the new office, but several others will not have accommodation.

Mr. Magu confirmed this and said the EFCC would still keep its current head office along Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent in Wuse II as an annex. Furthermore, some Abuja-based staff members who are currently working out of leased buildings and living in rented quarters would continue to do so for the near future because the new building cannot accommodate everyone.

“Clearly, this building cannot return the N24 billion value Nigerians paid for it,” Mr. Obono said. “We cannot use corruption to fight corruption.”

He demanded that the EFCC publish its books in relations to the building, especially procurement dossiers.

“Mr. Magu must publish the full details of how the money was spent and not think Nigerians are foolish or that they are not paying attention to the suspicious activities going on in an agency that should be curbing financial crimes,” the activist added.

Acting Chair of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu

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Breaking: Court remands PDP senator in prison

News, PDP, Politics

nwaoboshi.jpgSenator Peter Nwaoboshi  of the PDP has been remanded in Prison pending next hearing by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos/ The senator’s ordeal began with an arraignment in court for money lundering and sundry other offenses by the EFCC – Nwaoboshi is alleged to have been involved in several fraudulent activities  The senator representing Delta North senatorial district at the current eight Senate was remanded at the Ikoyi Prison in Lagos state.

The senator whose name appeared on federal government’s looters’ list was arrested by the anti-graft agency recently. media reports had it that the lawmaker was detained by the EFCC before his arraignment in court on Wednesday, April 25. According to the charge sheet, Nwaoboshi is charged alongside two companies, Golden Touch Construction Projects Ltd, and Suiming Electricals Ltd on a two-count charge of money laundering. One of the charges against him alleged that the senator and Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd fraudulently acquired a property known as Guinea House situated at Marine Road, Apapa in Lagos, between May and June 2014, at a cost N805 million.  According to the charge, the defendants ought to have known that N322 million out of the purchase price formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act under the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act.

We Raided Magu’s Farm For Money- Dismissed NAF Officer

Corruption, Crime, News, Politics

The police have paraded three suspects for their alleged involvement in the attack on the farmhouse of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.

The police have paraded three suspects for their alleged involvement in the attack on the farmhouse of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.

The attack on the farmhouse led to the death of a policeman, Sergeant Haruna Sarki, who was on guard duty.

The suspects include a dismissed Nigerian Air Force Officer, Vincent Michael, with number: NAF12/26972L/CPL, Inalegwu Omikpa, and Francis Ochife.

Michael told journalists in Abuja on Monday that they raided the farmhouse because they were informed that Magu was keeping huge sums of money there.

The suspect said they were convinced that money was being kept in the farm because there were only a cow and two sheep, which were being guarded by two policemen.

Michael said, “In November 2017,  a friend of mine told me that his friend, Omikpa, told him that there was money at Magu’s house and that we should go and take it.

“At first, I did not buy the idea but he called me again and told me that we were not going to rob. He said all we needed to do was to go and dig the soakaway and get the money out.

“So, December 12, we went to the place and when we got there with two other soldiers, who were contacted by Omikpa, the captain grabbed the policeman who was on duty, I held his neck and Omikpa tied his hand and leg.”

He added, “After he was tied, I picked up the digger and made my way to the soakaway.  I noticed a ray of torchlight and then I went back and noticed that a boy who kills animals at the farm was also there.”

“They tied him also and the captain came to join me where I was breaking the soakaway.  I broke two soakaways but I did not see any money. I received a phone call later that people had started noticing that we were on the farm, so we left.”

On who was responsible for the death of the policeman,  the dismissed NAF officer said Omikpa killed the cop.

“Omikpa killed the policeman because we left him with the policeman and he later came to join us where we were breaking the soakaway,” he stated.

Speaking during the parade of the suspects at the Force Headquarters in Abuja on Monday, the Deputy Force Spokesman, SP Aremu Adeniran, said Michael was handed over to the police by the NAF after he was dismissed from service for his involvement in the attack.

He added that two other NAF personnel who took part in the operation were currently facing disciplinary action with the NAF and would be handed over to the police thereafter.

Items recovered from them included two police AK47 rifles, two mobile phones, two magazines and 60 rounds of AK47 ammunition.

Omikpa explained that they planned to sell the slain policeman’s AK47 rifle for N400,000 because they did not find any money when they raided the farm.

Breaking: EFCC To Arraign Sen. Peter Nwaoboshi On Wednesday

Corruption, Crime, News, Politics

According to the charge sheet obtained by Saharareporters, the senator would be arraigned alongside two firms, GoldenTouch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electricals Limited.

The Economics and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) would arraign the Senator representing Delta-North, Peter Nwaoboshi, on a two-count charge of conspiracy and money laundering, at the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos on Wednesday.

The senator would be arraigned before Justice Mohammed Idris, a source in the commission told Saharareporters.

According to the charge sheet obtained by Saharareporters, the senator would be arraigned alongside two firms, GoldenTouch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electricals Limited.

This website had earlier reported the arrest of Mr. Nwaoboshi by the anti-graft agency over an alleged fraud of N6 billion.

EFCC sources say the Senator was subsequently quizzed for hours on Monday over an alleged failure to execute contracts worth N4 billion awarded to him.

The Delta state Senator was accused of obtaining N1.2 billion loan from Nigeria Export-Import Bank to buy electrical equipment for his company but instead diverted the loan for personal use.

Mr. Nwaoboshi also allegedly purchased a N805 million, 12-storeys building in Lagos from Delta state government.

He was also accused of failing to make full disclosure of his assets to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

Count 1 of the charges against the Senator reads, “ AND GOLDENTOUCH CONSTRUCTION PROJECT LTD between May and June   2014 within the jurisdiction of this Hon. Court did acquire a property described as Guinea House, Marine Road, Apapa, Lagos for the sum of N805,000,000.00 (Eight hundred and five million naira only) when you reasonably ought to have known that the N322,000,000.00 (Three hundred and twenty-two million naira only) out of the purchase price transferred to the vendors by order of SUIMING ELECTRICALS LIMITED formed part of the proceed of an unlawful act (to wit: fraud) and you, therefore, committed an offense contrary to section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same act.

Count 2 states “That you, SUIMING ELECTRICALS LIMITED on or about 14th May 2014, within the jurisdiction of this Hon. Court aided PETER NWAOBOSHI AND GOLDEN TOUCH CONSTRUCTION PROJECT LTD to commit laundering and you thereby committed an offense contrary to section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act (as amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) in conjunction with Section 15(2)(d) of the same Act.

N18bn allegation: I’ve never had N1bn in my life – Wamakko

News, Nigeria, Politics

wamako

The senator representing Sokoto North Senatorial District, Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, has described the recent allegation that he and Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso misappropriated N18 billion  while they were governors as maliciously fictitious.

Wamakko was Sokoto State governor between 2007 and 2015 while Kwankwaso was Kano State governor first from 1999 to 2003 and then from 2011 to 2015.

Speaking to journalists in Sokoto regarding the allegation, Wamakko said, “I have never had N1billion in my life. I am not a rich man. I don’t keep money.’’

He said the petition was not from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) but from some merchants of falsehood.

“It was part of the ceaseless but abortive evil machinations of a failed politician who thinks that Wamakko should never breathe and live. The frail, failed, ungodly politician and his unpatriotic mercenaries want to bring Wamakko down. It is the Almighty Allah that made Wamakko what he is now and He is the only one who can bring him down,’’ he charged, asserting, “I have never stolen any money.”

He said he had served the Sokoto State meritoriously, honestly, diligently and transparently.

He challenged the authors of the allegations to publish the details of such financial transactions in the newspapers, to corroborate their claims.

The EFCC, he said,  “is a reputable agency that has officials with respect and decorum, who will never use uncourteous and unethical language like the one used in the publication.”

On his relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari, Wamakko said, “We meet regularly to discuss vital national issues and there has never been a time when my request to see him was turned down.”

 

Alleged N22.1 bn fraud: Amosu’s statement taken in presence of his lawyer — Witness

News, Nigeria, Nigerian Army

Adesola Amosu

A prosecution witness, Tosin Owobo, on Wednesday, told a Federal High Court, Lagos, that the statement made by a former Chief of Air Staff, Adesola Amosu, at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was taken in the presence of his lawyer.

Mr Owobo, an operative with the commission, was testifying at the resumed trial of Mr Amosu, who is standing trial over allegations of fraud.

He is charged alongside two other Air Force officers – Jacob Adigun and Gbadebo Olugbenga.

Also charged with them are six companies namely: Delfina Oil and Gas Ltd, Mcallan Oil and Gas Ltd, Hebron Housing and Properties Company Ltd, Trapezites BDC, Fonds and Pricey Ltd and Solomon healthcare Ltd.

They are under prosecution by the EFCC.

When the trial resumed on Wednesday, Mr Owobo, who had previously been sworn on oath at the last adjourned date, continued his evidence before the court.

The prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, asked the witness if any other person, apart from officers of the Agency, were present when the statement of the first accused was taken.

In response, the witness told the court that the statement of the accused was taken in the presence of his lawyers.

Mr Owobo told the court that lawyers to the second and third accused were also present when their statements were volunteered at the commission.

When Mr Oyedepo asked the witness in what manner the second accused came to the commission, the witness told the court that the second accused came on his own.

He said that the second accused was not arrested, and he came to the commission with some documents and his lawyers.

Mr Oyedepo then told the court that he was done with examining the witness.

Meanwhile, Bolaji Ayorinde, counsel for the first and eleventh accused, informed the court that the last adjournment was for the prosecution to conclude its examination and not for cross-examination.

He further told the court that they had applied for a certified true copy (CTC) of the court proceedings to enable them to cross-examine the witness but had not been able to get it.

Mr Ayorinde applied for an adjournment to enable the defence to obtain the said CTC, and proceed with cross-examination of the witness.

Other defence counsel agreed with his submissions.

Mr Oyedepo, however, informed the court that during the examination of the second witness, lawyers in the defence team were taking down notes of the proceedings.

He said that an application for adjournment predicated on record of proceedings was not brought in good faith.

In his remark, judge, Mohammed Idris held that in the interest of justice, the case would be adjourned until May 2, 14 and 15 for cross-examination of the witness.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the accused persons were arraigned before Mr Idris on June 26, 2016, and had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

They were charged with conspiracy, stealing and money laundering.

The offences contravened the provisions of Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

Mr Idris had granted them bail in the sum of N500 million each, with two sureties each in like sum.

Magu Not Fit as EFCC Acting Chairman – Nigerian Senate

Politics, Power

maguChairman, Senate Committee on Public Petitions, Ethics and privileges, Senator Samuel Anyanwu has stated that Nigeria Senate no longer regard Mr. Ibrahim Magu as Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He gave this revelation at a press conference while reacting to questions bothering his Committee.

“There are petitions against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission by some Nigerians, but my Committee does not see Ibrahim Magu as the Acting Chairman and that is why he was not invited”, Anyanwu said.

The lawmaker further said his committee would use 2018 budget defense to track down Magu.

“The 2018 budget is here, we will it as instrument against PMB for defying Senate resolution on Ibrahim Magu”, Anyanwu submitted.

NIA DG explains why agency stopped EFCC from arresting Oke, blasts Magu

Politics, Power

The National Intelligence Agency, NIA, has revealed why the agency blocked attempt to arrest its former DG, Ambassador Ayodele Oke.

NIA operatives, last year, blocked officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from taking Oye for questioning. 

Oke.jpg

Dauda said the move to arrest the former DG was first reported in the media even before the EFCC concluded on its position on the issue.

He added that NIA was a secret service whose operation were clandestine and highly classified.

The Acting DG said there was no official communication to the agency from the EFCC on the exact mission of its operatives to the “residence” of Oke.

Dauda denied knowledge of any letter from the Acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, requesting for the surrender of the former DG of the NIA, adding that the only letter received from the EFCC chairman was a threat to report the conduct of the NIA to President Muhammadu Buhari.

He regretted that the EFCC under Magu had been hostile to and uncooperative with the NIA, leading to the massive withdrawal of NIA operatives from the service of the EFCC.

Magu running EFCC on gossips, marabouts advice – DSS DG, Daura

local news, PMB, Politics

Magu Running EFCC on gossips, marabouts advice – DSS DG, Daura

The Director General of the Department of State Services, DSS, Lawan Daura, has accused the Acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, of running the anti-graft agency based on gossips and political interference from certain quarters and marabouts.

Daura said this before the Senate ad-hoc committee, adding that the method, which he described as ‘brawn instead of brain’, deployed by EFCC under Magu, is a Gestapo style that belongs to dictatorial regimes.

“The Acting Chairman runs the Agency based on public rumours, manoeuvres, gossips, political interference from certain quarters and marabouts.”

Daura also accused Magu of vendetta mission against the DSS as a result of the indictment of his close friend, retired Air Commodore Mohammed Umar, who was involved in extorting money from suspects under investigation by the Presidential Committee Investigating Defence Procurement between 2014 and 2015.

He said although the EFCC has the power to investigate financial crimes, but investigation of the finances of the DSS was an exception in this case and can only be waived with the approval of the President.

The report of the ad-hoc committee, sighted by The Eagle Online, said: “The extant law regulating the Service prohibits it from the commission’s kind of investigation without a presidential order.

“It was suggested to him to call EFCC Board meeting to thrash it out or to secure such presidential order.

“The service also advised appropriate authorities to set up a Presidential Committee in the manner that the Tower/NIA money was investigated.”

In the report, Magu was indicted on several grounds.