Magu vows to secure Diezani’s extradition from the UK
The Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu has vowed to secure extradition of a former minister of Petroleum, Diezani Allison-Madueke from the United Kingdom before the end of the year to face corruption charges.
Magu also accused the anti-graft agencies, international partners, especially in the United Kingdom of giving what he described as undue protection to the former minister.
The EFCC boss spoke on the subject on Wednesday during an official visit to the Ibadan Zonal Office of the commission where he was received by the Zonal Head, Mr Friday Ebelo accompanied by other top officials. He added that the agency is already changing its tactics and strategy of engaging foreign partners to ensure the extradition of the former minister of petroleum is secured soon.
Fielding questions from reporters after a tour of the facilities at the Zonal office, Magu expressed sadness at the slow pace of investigation by the foreign partners, especially those involved with the former ministers of petroleum case, saying they could have released her to come and face charges at home having found enough evidences against her in Nigeria.
Noting that the whistle-blower policy is still active and yielding results, the anti graft agency boss enjoined Nigerians both with and outside the country to collaborate with the agency by providing needed information that can aid nabbing corrupt individuals in the country.
He also added that the agency is readier for the concluding elections by fighting vote buying in affected parts of the country, urging the people not to go to the voting areas with huge amount of monies so as not to fall victim of been arrested for vote buying.
He said, “I want to thank all of you (media) for been partners and for helping us by collaborating with us in doing what we are doing, we are a very essential partner, the edits is very important. In fact, you people are the anti-corruption crusaders because your choice of profession is a desire for you to insist on doing the right thing for people, to fight against injustice to fellow human beings. That is an important aspect that has helped us to this level. We are here and we are doing very well.
“And we are doing everything possible. This year, we are going to upgrade everything we are doing. Rerun elections and all outstanding elections are to be concluded, we are part of it and we are going to fight against vote buying. Everybody is on our radar, so I want you to join us on that day so that we can expose the vote buyers and collect their money.
“And if you are going there, make sure you don’t carry more than maybe N25, 000, otherwise, they will arrest everybody that carries unusual amount of money on their body. So, we are going on with the fight against vote buying during next Saturday’s elections in the affected states across the nation.”
On collaborative efforts with international partners to bring back suspected looters of national treasury finding solace in other climes, Magu said “we are collaborating with everybody including the Nigerians in diaspora, those who lives outside the country, we are collecting a whole lot of information and that is our strength in getting them.
“We also want to collaborate Nigerians within Nigeria and in Nigeria so that they will give us more information to exposed the looters so that they can return the loot. We will insist on them returning the loot. One thing is that, the whistle blower policy is still active and still working, the only thing is that, it is been slowed down because you have to go to the courts and exhaust all the court processes, the court will have to declare the amount that is recovered as loot and forfeited to the federal government, then we will give you your share as the whistle-blower. So, we are relying on you (media) in particular to expose them so that we can go after them.
Speaking on the agencies relationship with foreign partners including FBI, Interpol and others, the EFCC boss said, “we have a cordial relationship with the FBI, NCA, with the law enforcement agencies in Italy, Switzerland and in almost all the countries, in UAE, Abu Dhabi, you have seen that we have been able to procure the extradition of the former Attorney General and most likely they will arraign him today (Wednesday) in Abuja.”
Harping on the commissions effort on the return of Diezani, the Acting Chairman insisted “They will bring her back to the country this year. We must get her. They have no reason to keep her there. Why should you keep her without taking her to court. And this is the fifth year and why should you be investigating a matter for five years and its a matter that is straightforward, a financial crime investigation, it is not a murder case that should linger, but financial crimes.
“The case is straightforward. If you don’t have any evidence or sufficient evidences to establish any offence, bring her back, we have more than enough evidences to take her to court, so we are working and we will continue to work.”
When asked if he suspects sabotage from the international partners, Magu said “Yes, definitely. I don’t know why they are protecting her. Let them release her and let her come back to Nigeria.
“They are giving her protection, for whatever reason and they are yet to disclose whatever offence she has committed, they are only relying on the evidences that we have recovered. So, they are not serious people but they are our partners and we work together. They are helping us and we help them too, it’s a two way relationship, just like we are collaborating with you people (media), you abuse us sometimes and at other times you speak well of us.
“Yes, we are and we have already started another strategy because you would have never heard me talking like this against them openly before you (journalists), so, its a new strategy and I don’t have to disclose the rest of the strategies.”