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$2bn Scam: EFCC Accuses DSS Of Protecting Indicted Officials |RN

MusaDaura1                          DSS Chief, Lawal Daura

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has accused the Department of State Services of refusing to release its officials for questioning over their alleged roles in the $2bn arms scam purportedly perpetrated by a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.).

The EFCC said this in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, on Tuesday.

Uwujaren issued the statement in response to a publication by a national daily in which an anonymous DSS official accused the EFCC of attempting to humiliate officials of the secret police agency because the Director-General of the DSS, Lawal Daura, scuttled the confirmation of the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, at the Senate.

According to the report, an anonymous DSS official said, “What are they (EFCC) trying to do, audit our operations or what? Did the service report any financial infraction to them and call for their intervention? It is just a case of overzealousness and lack of professionalism and we won’t allow that, because what you allow is what will continue.

“If they (EFCC) need any clarification on anything, they should come to our office. We can’t be humiliated by anybody. Never!  If this is the fallout from the security report officially requested by the National Assembly, then we wish them luck. We stand by our findings.”

However, the EFCC said it was not on a witch-hunt.

The commission said it invited DSS officials just as it had invited officers of the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force and the Nigerian Navy.

According to the anti-graft agency, while military officers made themselves available and culpable ones have since been arraigned, the DSS refused to release its officers for questioning.

The EFCC said, “It is important to state that it is not strange for the EFCC to invite (for questioning) officers of other law enforcement agencies alleged to be complicit in any case being investigated by the commission. But there are protocols in doing this; and part of that protocol is to write to the heads of such agencies, requesting that the officer(s) in question be released to be interviewed.

“In the course of investigating the arms procurement scandal in the Office of the former  National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), the commission has had cause to request the release of officers of other security agencies, including the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air force, the Nigerian Navy and now the DSS, for questioning. All but the DSS have acceded to this request.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the arms procurement investigation is national in outlook with alleged culprits cutting across the military, security establishments as well as the political class. It is not targeted at any institution.

“Consequently, the insinuation about a revenge-instigated investigation of the DSS by the EFCC over its role in the senate refusal to confirm Ibrahim Magu as substantive chairman of the EFCC, is not only specious, but pure mischief contrived for motives that are unclear.”   (Punch)

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Maina Return: We Did Our Best, Says Magu |The Republican News

Abdulrasheed Maina

Abdulasheed Maina

From: AIDOGHIE PAULINUS, Abuja

Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has absolved the Commission from any blame over the return of embattled former Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms, Abdulrasheed Maina.

Magu spoke with journalists at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Abuja, at a meeting between the African Union delegation and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Olukunle Bamgbose.

The meeting was a follow-up to the endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari by the 29th Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in July, 2017, as the champion of the Union’s theme for 2018 titled “Winning the Fight Against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.”

Magu, who was asked to comment on how Maina entered the country without the knowledge of the EFCC, initially said the issue of Maina should be reserved for another time.

Magu, however, shifted ground, saying that the best the EFCC could do was to have declared Maina wanted.

In his words, “We should reserve that for another time. We have done our best. We have declared him a wanted person. It is on our website. So, if you happen to come in… I think you should be reading, you should be reading.”

Asked to comment on efforts to unravel those behind the reinstatement of Maina into the Federal Civil Service, particularly, the Ministry of Interior, Magu said he would speak at the appropriate time.

“No. At the appropriate time, I would make statement on this issue,” Magu declared.

Earlier, Magu said the visit by the AU delegation was an indication that there is an effective political will to fight corruption in the country.

He added that the fact that the whole world recognised President Buhari as an anti corruption person was encouraging.

“You and I know that he is not kidding. He is not pretending. There is no pretence there in his will to fight corruption. There is no doubt about that,” Magu stated.

Magu assured that the fight against corruption would be heightened in the country.

“You know me enough and we would go ahead. We will not disappoint the rest of the world. They have recognised that the president is doing well and they have come here, the African Union, our brothers and sisters and we will do everything possible to contribute positively,” Magu assured.

In his remarks, Bamgbose said the trust and confidence reposed in President Buhari was evidently inspired by his administration’s commitment to frontally tackle corruption in the country and globally.

“The successes achieved in this endeavour thus far with the result-oriented policies put in place have been remarkable; all geared towards building a sustainable, prosperous and peaceful continent,” Bamgbose said.

On his part, the leader of the delegation and African Union Commission Deputy Chairperson, Quartey Thomas Kwesi, congratulated President Buhari for his recognition as the African Union Champion Against Corruption.

Kwesi said President Buhari’s new role was a clear recognition of his tireless efforts to fight corruption and the results he had achieved so far.

“As we deliberate on what needs to be done in advancing the theme for the year under the leadership of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, let us explore various means in which different activities can be promoted and scaled up in combating corruption and consolidating the gains already made in this regard,” Kwesi said.         (The Sun)

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Buhari, AGF Ask Court To Throw Out Suit Against EFCC Boss, Ibrahim Magu |The Republican News

 

Magu-EFCC-and-buhari-

From: GODWIN Tsa, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), on Monday, asked the Abuja division of the Federal High Court to strike out all pending suits seeking the removal of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrhim Magu, from office.

Their position was contained in a notice of preliminary objections challenging the competence of one of the suits seeking Magu’s removal from office.

They argued that “the court cannot invoke its judicial powers under Section 6(6)(b) (of the Constitution) to hear and determine this case.”

About 17 cases have been filed for and against Magu since the refusal of the Senate to confirm the appointment of Magu as the substantive EFCC chairman on two different occasions.

One of the suits is said to be pending before the Yola Division of the Federal High Court, another in the Kano Division, while the rest are said to be pending before the Abuja Division of the court.

President Buhari and Malami their preliminary objections, challenged the competence of the suit contended that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear The Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Dayo Apata, leading Mr Tijani Gazali and other lawyers in the ministry, signed the preliminary objection on behalf of the President and the AGF.

The suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/227/2017, has Magu, the EFCC; the AGF, President Buhari, the Senate, and its President, Dr Bukola Saraki, as the first to the sixth defendants respectively.

They added, “The plaintiffs do not have sufficient interest in the determination of this matter.

“The plaintiffs’ civil rights were not breached by the defendants.

“The plaintiffs did not meet the necessary pre-condition to filing this suit.”

The two defendants, on whose behalf they filed the notice of preliminary objection, prayed for “an order of this honourable court striking out this matter for want of jurisdiction”.

They insisted that the plaintiffs lacked the right to institute the suit but were merely attempting to confer such rights on themselves when they were not instructed by the Senate to file the action.

The preliminary objection read in apart. “The plaintiffs claim to be concerned Nigerian citizens and legal practitioners, thus imparted upon themselves the right to institute this suit, notwithstanding the fact that the National Assembly (particularly the Senate) is a legal person capable of suing and being sued. The Plaintiffs did not depose to the fact that they were instructed by the Senate or the Senate President to institute this suit.

“The plaintiffs are seeking inter alia an order restraining the 4th defendant from re-nominating or representing the name of the 1st defendant (Magu) to the Senate for appointment as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.”

The two defendants maintained that the suit was wrongly instituted by the two plaintiffs and ought to be struck out.

They added, “My lord, we humbly submit that a perusal of all the processes in the court’s file will reveal that the plaintiffs instituted the action wrongly as they do not possess the locus standi to institute same.

“The plaintiffs have also failed to follow the due process of law in filing this suit and have not brought this action by way of Judicial Review contrary to Order 34 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules.

“This honourable court has therefore been deprived of the jurisdiction to hear and determine this suit.

“And if it is, your lordship has the power to, among other things, strike out this matter in its entirety. We urge your lordship to strike out this matter for want of jurisdiction.”

Prayers sought in the suit included, “A declaration that by the combined effect of the provisions of section 2(3) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004 and Order 131 of the Rules of the 5th and 6th defendants, the 4th defendant cannot validly reappoint/ re-present the name of the 15‘ Defendant to the 5th defendant for confirmation as the Chairman of the 2nd defendant having being previously rejected twice by the 5th and 6th defendants.

“A declaration that by re-nominating, representing the name of the 1st defendant to the 5th and 6th defendants for confirmation as the Chairman of the 2nd defendant. having been previously rejected twice by the 5th and 6th defendant, the 4th defendant is foisting a candidate upon Nigerians.”  (The Sun)

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Alleged Rights Violation: Patience Jonathan Sues EFCC For N2bn |RN

patience-jonathan1

Wife of Former President, Dame Patience Jonathan

From Godwin Tsa, Abuja

Wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Dame Patience Jonathan has slammed a N2billion rights enforcement suit against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The suit was predicated on Order 2 Rule 1 of the Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules 2009 and Sections 34(1), 36(1), 37, 42 and 44 of 1999 Constitution as amended.

In the suit, the former First Lady, through her lawyer,

I.A Adedipe (SAN), is asking the court for an order for general damages/compensation in the sum of N2bn only against the EFCC jointly and severally for the violation of her fundamental rights.

The applicant wants a declaration that her incessant harassment by the EFCC through negative media publications, denigrating and degrading her person as corrupt, without any invitation by EFCC, trial or conviction by a court is a violation of her rights under Section 37 of the 1999 Constitution.

The applicant wants a declaration that indiscriminate freezing of her bank accounts and those of her relatives by the EFCC under the guise of investigation of proceeds of crime, without any invitation or interrogation by the respondent is a violation of her rights to own property and to fair hearing guaranteed under Sections 44 and 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution. 

“A declaration that the invasion, breaking into and ransacking of the applicant’s family property by the agents of the respondent in the absence of the applicant or any member of her family, while purporting to be executing a search warrant is a violation of the applicant’s fundamental human rights to private and family life guaranteed under the provisions of Section 37 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

“A declaration that the incessant harassment of the applicant by the respondent on the ground of her political views expressed by reason of her being a member of the opposition party in Nigeria, is a violation of the applicant’s fundamental human right to freedom from discrimination, guaranteed under Section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).

“An order of court restraining the respondent, whether by itself, its agents, privies or any person acting on its behalf from further violating the applicant’s fundamental rights adumbrated above.”

The matter assigned to Justice John Tsoho was mentioned yesterday but was adjourned to November 16, 2017.  (The Sun)

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In Over Two Years Buhari Hasn’t Locked Up A Single Corrupt Cabal |The Republican News

 

Buhariworksfromhome

President Muhammadu Buhari

EFCC chairman Ibrahim Magu lamented last Wednesday that Nigeria was losing the war on corruption. It was an honest deposition.

 

Over two years after being sworn in, despite much talk and relentless over pouring of public support and encouragement, the Buhari-Osinbajo government has failed to lock up a single corrupt politician or their businessmen cronies. Not one. The closest Buhari came to locking someone up was with former Adamawa state governor Ngilari, but he was soon acquitted of all charges.

They say corruption is fighting back. If this is a war then corruption has won. And if this was England, the Prime minister would have resigned. But alas, it is not. It is Nigeria and we must trudge on.

I’ll list ten notable failures of the Buhari government in tackling corruption and cases where this administration in itself appears to be fighting back on behalf of corruption.

  1. The Buhari government has adamantly refused to release names of looters who have refunded parts of their stash in return for a secret amnesty of sorts. In spite of a court order compelling the Buhari government to do so, it has persistently defended these corrupt cabal by concealing their identities.
  2. While the Obasanjo government as criticized as it was, was quite successful in locking up dozens on charges of corruption, including Inspector General’s of the Police, and even state governors by first impeaching them and then incarcerating them, the Buhari government appears to lack even a fragment of such capabilities or interests.

  3. One of the reasons that have been attributed to the Buhari-Osinbajo government’s failures in fighting the corrupt is its open partiality. The Judiciary is not persuaded to fulfill its obligations when it sees that all you need to do is switch to the ruling party to be protected from probe. The examples are too many to mention. Allegations that Buhari removed the names of Dambazau and Buratai from an army probe report, did not help matters.

  4. The cases of SGF Babachir Lawal the “grasscutter” and NIA boss Ayodele Oke are perhaps two highly prominent and globally noticed examples of Buhari and Osinbajo’s shamelessness in protecting the corrupt. Buhari has so far shielded these accused individuals from EFCC investigation and punishment for almost a year and continues to. This is a most serious blow to the supposed war against corruption.

  5. As I have repeatedly mentioned, Buhari cannot and will never prosecute former NSA Dasuki outside of the media conviction. For the two plus years Buhari has been in office, he has kept Dasuki in an unprecedented state of limbo: locked in house arrest and never brought to court. The case continues to be adjourned indefinitely. An alleged illegal deal negotiated by the Dangotes, Abdulsalamis and Kukahs which granted Amnesty to Goodluck Jonathan is believed to be part of the reason Buhari cannot try Dasuki. Dasuki cannot go down without taking Jonathan with him. And then perhaps Buhari does not wish to prosecute a son of the Sokoto caliphate, regardless of tens of thousands of Nigerians that supposedly died due to his gravid corruption.

  6. The games Buhari played on the Halliburton corruption case involving APC party sponsor Atiku Abubakar and cabals Obasanjo, IBB, Abdulsalami and the like, leave little doubt that while tens of thousands of Nigerians are locked up for petty theft, the cabal will go scot free under Buhari. When he was heading to USA, under pressure, Buhari announced the re-opening of the Halliburton case. Upon his return he shut it once again. There is no clearer example of his posture against corruption: the cabal are guaranteed immunity.

  7. The whistleblower program has been destroyed. Firstly, the protection of Ayodele Oke and his wife implicated in the over $43 million stash found in an Ikoyi apartment, discouraged whistle blowers. Secondly cases where money was found but the culprits concealed by the Buhari government, have weakened public trust and hope in the program. The case of N49 million found at the Kaduna airport comes to mind. Thirdly, the EFCC in August conceded that due to the “embarrassment” of misses, it was now reluctant to follow up on blown leads. The program is almost dead.

  8. The FOREX subsidy scam, where cabal received emoluments of billions of dollars from the Buhari government in subsidized FOREX is a major dent on the Buhari government. Reuters reported that PDP and APC sponsor Aliko Dangote received as much as $100 million dollars gift from Buhari in just three months. Extrapolated, the effect of the FOREX subsidy scam rivals the fuel subsidy scam of the previous administration. Former Central bank governor and now Emir, Sanusi II lamented that Buhari and his Apex bank governor Godwin Emefiele were making brand new billionaires daily, by running the scam. Not the posture of a government serious against corruption.

  9. The refusal of the Buhari government to as much as look at the Panama papers which indicted people like senate president Bukola Saraki and business mogul Aliko Dangote among others, makes it hard to say Buhari is serious about fighting corruption.

  10. The ignored cases of Rep member Jubril, Honorable Kopa and Senator Hamma, all openly hounded for exposing suspected cases of corruption in the establishment is a serious dash of the hope in Buhari of fighting corruption. The Buhari-Osinbajo government has not given any support or even faintly resonated with these whistleblowers. Buhari simply turns away, disinterested in investigating the allegations and netting those implicated if guilty. Once you are a government official or power cabal, Buhari will not disturb you, it seems.

In conclusion, perhaps Buhari’s infirmity has left him politically vulnerable and hence afraid to touch the corrupt cabal whose cooperation and support he solicits to retain his office in spite of his being absent form Nigeria for large swaths of time. But for whatever reason, be it by sickness or preference, Nigeria has lost its hope of defeating corruption and seeing the corrupt punished for stealing the future of its citizens.

The starving country must wait till 2019 to fulfil the need to lock up the wicked thieves who have brazenly looted its common wealth and sentenced the masses to pain and death by poverty.

(Dr. PerryBrimah.com#CabalMustGo revolution)

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Buhari Probing AGF, Magu’s Face-off, Says FG |The Republican News

Image result for Malami and Magu
 Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN) and EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says President Muhammadu Buhari is investigating the feud between the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu.

Mohammed said this during a breakfast show on Channels Television titled, ‘Sunrise Daily’ on Tuesday.

When asked to explain what caused the feud, Mohammed said, “That is what the investigation will bring out. The President is aware and is investigating it. He is the employer of both of them.”

When asked if the feud between Malami and Magu would not affect the war against corruption, the minister added, “The fact that the AGF and the EFCC chairman do not see eye to eye on the methods or the approach does not mean that both of them do not believe in the ultimate which is that corruption must be addressed.

“If they disagree on approach, then the President will look into the matter and make his pronouncement. He will ask why the AGF is taking such a position and why the EFCC chairman is taking another position.

“This, to me, is a purely administrative matter and if it is not, Mr President will take appropriate action.”

The AGF and the EFCC boss have been involved in a feud which became public knowledge about a month ago.

Malami had specifically blamed Magu for causing the suspension of Nigeria from the Egmont Group, an international anti-corruption body with over 135 member countries.

The AGF had also accused the EFCC boss of breaching Section 10 (1) of the EFCC Act which states that the EFCC must send complex cases to the AGF for better cooperation and prosecution.

Mohammed admitted that there was a disagreement between the EFCC boss and the AGF but added that it was not as bad as it was being portrayed.

He said both parties had the best interest of Nigeria at heart but only differed on approach and methodology.

Asked if the feud was not a signal that the anti-corruption war lacked coordination, Mohammed said, “There are divergent views between the AGF and the EFCC chairman and the appropriate authorities will look into it.”

The minister also defended the Federal Government’s delay in obeying the order of a Federal High Court which ordered on July 5, 2017, that the Federal Government should release information on people who had returned stolen funds and how much was collected from them.

The minister said publishing the list could be inimical to the war against corruption and so certain things must be considered before the order was obeyed.

“There will be other considerations that the government will examine before it is made public. It depends on the outcome of the consideration before it is published. It also depends on if the release will not tamper with the fight against corruption.

“It is not tantamount to contempt of court process,” Mohammed added.  (Punchng.com)

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Magu, AGF May Clash Over Corrupt Ex-Governors, Senators |The Republican News

Image result for Malami and Magu
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN) and EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu

LEKE BAIYEWU,  ENIOLA AKINKUOTU and OLALEYE ALUKO

The Special Assistant to the President on Prosecutions, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, on Saturday, said the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), may report the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu; and Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Ekpo Nta, to the Presidency.

He revealed that the heads of the agencies could be sanctioned for insubordination for withholding the case files of more than 35 ex-governors and senators from the AGF.

The case files requested by the AGF in separate letters to both agencies were for ex-governors, including Bukola Saraki (Kwara, now Senate President); Ali Modu Sheriff (Borno);  Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia); Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu); Saminu Turaki (Jigawa); Sule Lamido (Jigawa); Joshua Dariye (Plateau); Ahmed Yerima (Zamfara); Gabriel Suswam (Benue); James Ibori (Delta); Martin Elechi (Ebonyi); Danjuma Goje (Gombe); Murtala Nyako (Adamawa); Ikedi Ohakim (Imo); Gbenga Daniel (Ogun); Achike Udenwa (Imo); Ubong Victor Attah (Akwa Ibom); Jolly Nyame (Taraba); Rasheed Ladoja (Oyo); Adebayo Alao-Akala (Oyo); Adamu Mu’azu (Bauchi); Lucky Igbinedion (Edo) and Peter Odili (Rivers).

Senators on the list included Stella Oduah and George Akume.

Obono-Obla said the refusal of the two anti-corruption agencies to forward the files to the AGF since July 2016 when the request was made had caused a setback to the anti-graft campaign of the Federal Government.

He had on Tuesday alleged that the EFCC and ICPC were not cooperating with Malami, which had led to the loss of some high-profile corruption cases.

Speaking on Saturday, Obono-Obla said, “When this administration came on board, one of the reforms that were initiated was the setting up of a National Prosecution Committee to complement the efforts of the anti-corruption agencies and the Department of Public Prosecution.

“A team of highly motivated lawyers, investigators and policy makers were brought in. The committee was inaugurated on May 27, 2016, by the then Vice  President, now acting President.

“The essence of the committee was for us to take on the looters of our treasury and we have to ask the heads of the anti-corruption agencies to furnish us with case files starting from 2006.

“You remember that former EFCC chairman, Nuhu Ribadu, had told the National Assembly at a time that 32 former governors were being investigated by the commission. So, we demanded the reports so that we could file criminal proceedings against those ex-governors indicted in those reports. I also made a similar application to the ICPC, but they refused to comply.

“Most important, we asked them to give us the files of senators under investigation. We wanted to, after getting those files, file an order of interim attachment of properties belonging to the suspects under investigation. This is because under Section 28.4 of the EFCC Act when suspects are arrested, the commission attaches all the properties acquired under that financial crime.

“So, we wanted to really wage a war, get those files and carry out those attachments so that Nigerians will know we are really serious about this war on corruption. And disappointedly, they refused to hand over those files and have refused to work with the AGF.

“The AGF is the chief prosecutor of the country and I see no reason why agencies under his supervision should not cooperate with him.

“The AGF is bothered and he may likely take a definite position. What the bosses of the agencies have done amounts to insubordination under the public service rule because the AGF is a chief legal officer and the agencies under him are to respect him. The AGF’s position may be to report the heads to the Presidency.”

The Special Assistant to the AGF on Media and Publicity, Salihu Isah, told SUNDAY PUNCH in Abuja that the office of the AGF would keep the pressure on based on heads of the anti-corruption agencies to release the case files.

He said, “Everything we are doing is the official procedure. We are not relenting. We have decided to put further pressure on the agencies. That is the best option for now.

“If the pressure doesn’t work, we know how to handle the situation.”

When contacted, the spokesman for the EFCC,  Wilson Uwujaren, referred one of our correspondents to the official response to the commission last week.

The  EFCC’s Head of Legal Department, G.K. Latona,  had last week denied claims that the commission was not cooperating with the AGF.

He said, “We are not working at cross purposes with the office of the Attorney General of the Federation; we are cooperating with them. We have a wide range of corruption cases in concert with state agencies.

“The Attorney General’s office has the right to initiate new high-profile corruption cases and investigate them without waiting for cases initiated by the EFCC. We are also working on best practices manuals for the prosecutors and investigators. If we want a corruption-free society, we must all work towards it.”

The spokesperson for the ICPC, Mrs Rasheedat Okoduwa, did not respond to calls or text messages sent to her by one of our correspondents.

Arrest lawmakers ignoring invitation, Sagay tells EFCC

The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), however, asked the EFCC to arrest any lawmaker that refused to honour the commission’s invitation when he spoke with SUNDAY PUNCH on Saturday.

The lawmaker representing Anambra North Senatorial District, Senator Stella Oduah, was invited by the EFCC on June 20, but refused to honour the invitation.

It was learnt that she also did not write any letter to the commission stating reasons for not honouring the invitation.

Oduah, a source said, was invited over some petitions bordering on the purchase of two armoured BMW vehicles at N255m by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority during her tenure as aviation minister in 2013 and the N9bn contract for the remodelling of some airports.

She had filed a fundamental rights enforcement suit, asking the court to stop the Attorney General of the Federation’s office, the EFCC, and the police from inviting, arresting, investigating or prosecuting her but the court denied her request on October 6, 2016.

Oduah, it was learnt, was emboldened by a Senate resolution three weeks ago in which the senators resolved not to recognise the authority of the acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Magu until he stepped aside, having been rejected twice by the Senate.

Similarly, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Leo Ogor, who was invited by the EFCC as part of investigations into the N284bn budget padding, refused to honour the invitation.

The Clerk of the House said in a letter that he was directed by the Speaker of the House, Yakubu Dogara, to tell the EFCC that Ogor or any representative be invited through Dogara.

However, Sagay said the EFCC should not hesitate to arrest anybody who failed to cooperate.

He added that the commission had the power to arrest anyone without an arrest warrant.

He said, “The EFCC is an institution; so, recognising Magu or not is totally irrelevant and until the Supreme Court says Magu is no longer chairman or acting chairman, the Senate cannot refuse to recognise Magu or the EFCC as an institution.

“If the EFCC invites you, you must go. There is no law that says invitation letters must come from the leadership of the National Assembly. The EFCC can inform the leadership as a matter of courtesy but letters should go directly to the person being invited.

“The danger now is that if they keep insisting on this, the EFCC will arrest her (Oduah).

“In fact, the law allows the EFCC to make arrests without a warrant if it has a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed a crime. So, I think the woman is taking a risk.”

Similarly, a human rights advocate, Femi Falana (SAN), said no one had the right to ignore an EFCC invitation.

Falana said, “The EFCC does not need to go through the leadership of the National Assembly because they are like other members of the public. There is no law that says letters must come from the leadership of the National Assembly.

“Whether you recognise Magu or not, what of the institution and other staff in EFCC? Are they not doing their work? So, if you say you don’t recognise the Inspector General of Police, wouldn’t you recognise the commissioners of police in every state? Doesn’t the EFCC have zonal heads in every state?”

Sagay should contest in 2019 or keep quiet –Senate

The Senate on Saturday replied Sagay, asking him to stop making ‘nonsensical statements’ capable of denigrating the nation’s parliament.

The red chamber stated this while reacting to a statement credited to the professor of law, which was widely published in the mass media on Saturday.

Sagay had described the 8th Senate as the worst in the history of Nigeria, adding that its members would be kicked out in 2019 general election.

He also described the ongoing constitution amendment by the National Assembly as a hypocritical exercise, which would lead nowhere.

He further lambasted the Bukola Saraki-led Senate for refusing to devolve power to the states, scrapping the State Independent Electoral Commission and for refusing to ensure 35 per cent affirmative action for women.

But the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Sabi-Abdullahi, asked Sagay to go back to the classroom if he had become overwhelmed by the national assignment given to him.

Sabi-Abdullahi said, “He (Sagay) is entitled to his opinion. That people can make nonsensical statements is the beauty of democracy but to be totally irresponsible in denigrating state and democratic institutions is definitely unacceptable. He is not speaking as a private citizen, given his position in this government.

“He needs to guard his utterances. He is in a democratically elected government brought about by the electoral victory of our great party made possible by the collective efforts of party members, including members of the Senate and House of Representatives.

“If he does not understand the decorum and values of democracy, let him go back to the classroom; if he is still needed there. His disdain for the National Assembly surely makes him anti-democratic. In the alternative, I challenge him to contest in 2019 or forever remain silent.” (Punchng.com)

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We Will Find, Prosecute Multinationals Involved In Illicit Financial Deals – EFCC

EFCCboss

Acting Chairman, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu

Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has unveiled plans to go after multinationals involved in illicit financial flows out of Nigeria.

The Acting Chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu, disclosed this in an interview with journalists on the sideline of a conference on the use of beneficial ownership information and the recovery of assets in Africa.

The event, which was hosted by the Federal Inland Revenue Service in Abuja, was attended by representatives of over 30 African countries to discuss the issue of illicit financial flows, tax evasion and corruption on the continent.

According to the World Bank and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the continent is estimated to be losing more than $50bn annually to illicit financial flows stemming from bribery, corruption, transfer pricing, tax evasion and money laundering.

This figure represents more than the continent receives in official development assistance everywhere and is increasing at an annual rate of 9.4 per cent, which is twice as fast as the global average gross national income.

Magu described the development as worrisome, adding that a major cause of illicit financial flows was corruption.

He said if the menace of corruption could be addressed, the rate of tax evasion and illicit flow of funds would be reduced.

This, he noted, would free more resources for the government to implement development projects in the face of dwindling revenue.

He said the commission had opened discussions with the FIRS to set up a special unit that would deal with tax fraud, tax evasion and other related offences, particularly in multinational firms.

Magu stated, “We are already discussing that and we are going to upgrade our cooperation with them, and we are going to set up a unit that will be in charge of tax fraud and tax evasion and related offences.

“We want to see that we work on these very seriously and we intend to use that to see how we can bring succour to the economy.

“Very soon, we will set up this unit because we have just discussed with the FIRS chairman; and so, we will sit down and organise a special training so that we can collaborate very well and chase out corruption from this country and send it back to where it is coming from. If there is no corruption, there won’t be illicit financial flows.”

The EFCC boss said the agency would also take its anti-corruption war to the universities.

Magu added, “We are talking with the universities and we are looking at programmes and trying to launch a similar thing like the ‘Women Against Corruption’.

“The student union leaders visited me and this was their complaint, and we have told them we are going to do this to protect their future. So, it is very necessary that the students join us in the fight against corruption.”

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who spoke at the event, said the issue of illicit financial flows had cost the continent huge losses in revenue.

She said while the government had put in place measures to fight corrupt practices, it would require the assistance of other countries to tackle the issue of tax evasion and illicit financial flows.                (Punchng.com)

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No More Fresh Communication To Senate On Magu |The Republican News

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Acting Chairman, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari will not communicate to the Senate his latest position on the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, The PUNCH has learnt.

The Senate had, on March 15, 2017, requested the President to nominate a replacement for Magu following the rejection of his nomination by the legislature.

The upper chamber of the National Assembly said the rejection, which was based on security report by the Department of State Services, had ended Magu’s chairmanship of the EFCC in acting capacity.

But Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo had, last week, ruled out the possibility of replacing Magu, saying the President did not find the security report prepared by the DSS, which formed the basis for Magu’s rejection, a strong reason to replace Magu.

When asked when the latest government’s position would be sent to the Senate, a source in the Presidency told our correspondent on Tuesday that Buhari did not need to communicate his latest position to the Senate.

He said, “The Vice-President has made the government’s position on Magu’s matter clear.

“There is no need for the President to write the Senate again on the matter since he is no longer seeking the lawmakers’ confirmation.

“Have you not seen Magu carrying out his assignments without hindrance? That is to show you that the President does not need to write the senators again.”

Osinbajo had said he aligned himself with the argument of a lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), that Senate confirmation was not needed for the EFCC’s chairman appointment based on the provisions of Section 171 of the constitution.

He said, “No law says we can’t re-present him. And again, there is the other argument, whether or not we need to present him for confirmation and that’s a compelling argument from Femi Falana.

“His argument is that under the Constitution, Section 171, and if you look at that section, it talks about the appointments that the President can make. They include appointments of ministers, ambassadors and heads of agencies such as the EFCC.

“In that same Section 171, the Constitution rightly says that certain appointments must go to the Senate such as ministerial and ambassadorial appointments. Those of heads of agencies like the EFCC do not have to go to the Senate.

“That’s what the constitution says. But the EFCC Act, which, of course, as you know, is inferior, says that EFCC chairman should go to the Senate for confirmation.

“I am sure that even a pocket-book lawyer knows that when legislation conflicts with Constitution, it’s the constitution that prevails. I agree with Mr. Falana that there is no need in the first place to have sent Magu’s name to the Senate, but we did so and it was rejected by the Senate, but I believe that it can be re-presented.

“I don’t think there is anything wrong about the fact that Senate has rejected him. Senate has acted in its own wisdom to say ‘no, we don’t want him’, and we can say ‘this is our candidate… we like the gentleman and we want him to continue’.”

Section 171 of the Constitution that deals with presidential appointments read as follows:

(1) Power to appoint persons to hold or act in the offices to which this section applies and to remove persons so appointed from any such office shall vest in the President.

(2) The offices to which this section applies are, namely:

(a) Secretary to the Government of the Federation;

(b) Head of the Civil Service of the Federation;

(c) Ambassador, High Commissioner or other Principal Representative of Nigeria abroad;

(d) Permanent Secretary in any ministry or head of any extra-ministerial department of the government of the federation howsoever designated; and

(e) any office on the personal staff of the President.

(3) An appointment to the office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation shall not be made except from among Permanent Secretaries or equivalent rank in the civil service of the Federation or of a State.              (Punchng.com)

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Anti-corruption War Is Not About Media Frenzy, Ribadu Tells Magu

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Pioneer Chairman of EFCC, Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu

The Pioneer Chairman of the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Alhaji Nuhu Ribadu takes a swipe at the Acting Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu
Speaking of the ongoing anti-corruption war, Ribadu the EFCC is losing the war against corruption “because the drivers of the anti-corruption vehicle are more interested in drama and media hype than the actual national goal.”
This is certainly not the EFCC of my dream,” Ribadu said, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari must have been disappointed in the manner at which the anti-graft war is being fought.
His words: “Anti-graft war is not all about media frenzy but genuine commitment to the total eradication of corruption from the system.
I am sorry to say that we are losing the war against corruption because the drivers of the anti-corruption vehicle are more interested in drama and media hype than the actual national goal.
It is preposterous to unlawfully incarcerate alleged corrupt elements for months just to find evidence against them, and when you finally charge them to court, you fail to present evidence but start begging judges to help the president fight corruption as if we are in the Banana Republic.
“This is certainly not the EFCC of my dream, and I am very sure that this is not what President Muhammadu Buhari meant when he promised to fight corruption during the electioneering.”

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