Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has vowed that the anti crime agency will get former minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, to answer to allegations of graft leveled against her.
Magu, who made the disclosure in Abuja, yesterday, said the EFCC needs less than 72 hours to comply with Tuesday’s court order mandating it and other security agencies to produce Diezani.
In the event that the EFCC cannot, Magus said he would inform the court of their constraint as the former minister does not live in Nigeria, presently.
Magu, however, said the EFCC has already commenced legal process towards bringing her back, to face corruption trial.
He disclosed these at a session with newsmen and social media influencers at the Commission’s headquarters in Jabi, Abuja, yesterday.
Justice Valentine Ashi of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Apo, Abuja, had, on Tuesday, ordered EFCC, the Nigeria Police Force, the Department of State Service and other security agencies to arrest and produce the former minister within 72 hours.
The order followed a motion ex parte filed by EFCC’s counsel, Msuur Denga, praying for a warrant of arrest against Alison-Madueke to enable the Commission arraign her for alleged financial crimes in Nigeria.
The former minister has been residing in London since 2015.
Magu also said Nigeria’s looted $300 million remains stuck in the United Kingdom.
He also revealed the commission is collaborating with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and others, to stop vote buying in 2019.
The EFCC boss also lamented that a lot of Nigeria’s monies stashed abroad by some Nigerians are yet to be released, despite several promises by authorities of the countries where the funds are.
He added that the looted funds outside Nigeria were massive.
In a statement by the acting EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, yesterday, Magus said: “We will comply with the court order. In fact, it is in our character to do so. If we won’t comply with the court order, that means we have reasons to appeal against the court decision.
“We need less than 72 hours to produce Diezani. But she is being prosecuted by other law enforcement agencies outside this country. This is our predicament.”
Talking about the challenge in getting her, he said, “Another law enforcement agency is in the matter. You know she is in the United Kingdom. And we are making preparations to get her. We have already gone to the court, in fact that was our request for extradition that compelled the court to issue a warrant of arrest against her. I need just less than an hour. If she is here, I will get her immediately and take her before the court. Our problem is that she is another man’s country.”
On looted funds still hanging outside the country, Magu said: “More than 80 percent of the loot recovery outside this country is still hanging. Ask them why is it hanging? Why is it so difficult to repatriate this money, when you have established that this only came from Nigeria and you know that this person does not own this money? There is no justification. It’s not small money. We have over $300 million hanging in the United Kingdom.”
On the commission’s plans for next year’s elections, Magu disclosed EFCC is on the trail of politicians to ensure that they do not have the opportunity to sell ill-gotten properties to finance campaigns.