Ibrahim Magu, the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has claimed that some powerful toes he stepped on while doing his job were out to tarnish his image and destroy his reputation.
Magu told the Presidential Committee On Audit Of Recovered Assets, PCARA, that suspects and other criminal elements he prosecuted were after him.
Magu’s claims were contained in a response he addressed to the PCARA probing the mismanagement and lack of transparency in managing recovered assets by the anti-corruption agency in the last 5 years.
The embattled suspended EFCC boss denied any wrongdoing while in office, insisting that all he did was fight corruption to a standstill in the country.
He said his traducers were out there publishing false information about him on social media platforms.
Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, had in the petition he submitted to the PCARA claimed that the lack of proper record keeping and discrepancies in the recovery figures, was a dent on the anti-corruption drive as well as raising integrity issues that can lead to loss of public confidence.
Part of Malami’s petition said, “For instance, EFCC stated 836 as the number of recovered real estate in the original returns it made to Mr. President on 07/04/2017.
“However, in its 1st returns to PCARA on 13/12/2017, EFCC gave the figure of 339, while in the 2nd returns to PCARA on 09/03/2018, it stated the recoveries to be 504. The 1st and 2nd returns total 843.”
Responding to this, Magu, who was detained for about 10 days after his arrest by the Department of State Services, DSS, told the panel that, “In the exercise of my official functions as acting chairman of the Commission, I have stepped on toes in ensuring that corruption is fought to a standstill in Nigeria.
“Some of the suspects under investigation and prosecution are always ganging up to fight me back, publishing false, untrue, malicious and libellous allegations against me. I have never abused the office I am occupying at the pleasure of Mr. President.”
“I have never personally enriched myself whilst performing my official function. I challenge my accusers to produce any evidence of this purported personal enrichment,” Magu said.
Arguing further, he claimed that under his watch, there were no cases of mismanagement of recovered assets or funds.
“No assets were sold and the proceeds thereof converted. There has been no mismanagement of or lack of transparency in the management of recovered assets under my leadership of the Commission. There has been no diversion of proceeds from recovered assets or personal enrichment on my part. A careful investigation into what has been recovered and what has been paid into the appropriate accounts will easily confirm this.
“I unequivocally deny these allegations as same are untrue and merely calculated to tarnish my name, that of the Commission, and the giant strides this administration has recorded in the fight against corruption and recovery of the proceeds of corruption,” he stated.
Magu said he had never in his years of service put a dime of the recovered funds to his personal use, challenging his accusers to produce evidence of such fraudulent conversion.
The suspended EFCC boss said all his actions while in office were documented and followed the prescribed procedures with necessary approvals.
“I am innocent. I have served my country to the best of my abilities with all sense of responsibility and integrity,” Magu insisted.
He maintained that the records of his achievements are there for all to see.
“I respectfully invite the panel to note the stellar and unprecedented achievements of the EFCC under my watch as the acting Chairman,” he said.