The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has linked his recent travails to his stepping on powerful toes, following efforts to ensure that corrupt persons are brought to justice.
Magu’s nomination as substantive head of the EFCC was rejected by the Senate last December citing a report of the Department of State Services (DSS) which raised questions about his integrity. President Muhammadu Buhari has since re-submitted Magu’s name for confirmation.
Magu, at the budget defence session for his agency before the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes yesterday, said corruption was fighting back.
“One of our greatest challenges, of course, is that corruption is fighting back,” Magu told the committee.
This is as he disclosed that the agency, in the last two weeks, raided the homes of two individuals and recovered separate cash sums of $9.72 million, £750,000 and N1.5 billion.
Magu however, did not reveal the identities of the affected individuals.
“Just last week, we raided the house of an individual and recovered $9.72 million and another £750,000. In fact, about two weeks ago, we recovered N1.5bn from one individual in Kaduna. The person is a public servant,” he said.
The total 2017 budget proposal for the anti-graft agency is the sum of N17.2 billion with N7 billion for capital expenditure, N7.1 as personnel cost and N3 billion for overhead.
N17.2 billion is an 8.5 decrease from the agency’s 2016 budget of N18.8 billion with N7.65 billion as personnel cost, N2.75 billion as overhead cost, and N8.4 billion as capital appropriation.
Magu however, sought an increase of the personnel cost to N9.6 billion to accommodate the 1500 newly recruited cadet, whose total estimated emoluments is N2.56 billion.
He also sought an increase of the capital budget by N1.79 billion to accommodate the cost of additional work in the construction of the commission’s new head office complex.
Magu highlighted some of the achievements of the commission in 2016, particularly the recovery of monies in various currencies which are $8.29 million, N102.9 billion, £29,155, €12,475, CAD 117,004, AED 806.50, F5000, and INR 2000.
The agency also secured 135 convictions, 25 interim forfeiture order and five final forfeiture orders, in the same year, Magu added.
“Inadequate funding continues to hamper our ability to implement our projected plans. The fragmented nature of our offices in Abuja makes coordination of our efforts a challenge…the automation of our ICT systems is ongoing and requires greater urgency as we engage in re-engineering our processes and procedures,” he said.
Magu added that the length of time it takes to conclude anti-corruption cases in court, remains a source of concern.