$300M ABACHA LOOT: EFCC replies US Senator on allegation against Magu

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has raised the alarm over a recent allegation against its acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, by a United States (US) senator, Charles E. Grassley.

Grassley, 86 and a Republican Senator, who is also the US Senate’s Chairman, Committee on Finance, had in a letter dated April 1, 2020, and addressed to the Chief Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section of the US Department of Justice, Deborah Connor, accused Magu of “detaining individuals who have spoken against the Buhari government” on the $300 million funds looted by the former Head of State, the late Gen Sani Abacha

But in a statement by Tony Orilade, EFCC acting Head, Media and Publicity, the commission reiterated that it is at the forefront of the transparent management of recovered funds and would not be dragged into any controversy over an allegation that has no fact or any iota of proof.

“The allegation clearly has no bearing with the operations of the EFCC nor address the painstaking efforts of Magu in tackling the menace of corruption, without fear or favour.

“The EFCC is involved in the processes of repatriation of the looted $300 million by the former Head of State, the late Gen Sani Abacha and quite aware of the tripartite agreement involving Nigeria, the United States and Island of Jersey.

“As an anti-graft agency, the Commission has credible records of managing recovered funds and assets and it is rather unfortunate that the ranking US Senator, in a desperate bid to frustrate the repatriation of the funds, clearly embraced the well-worn antics of some unscrupulous elements in the country, who never succeeded in blackmailing the anti-corruption crusade of President Muhammadu Buhari.

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“Even the harshest detractors of Mr. Magu know and always acknowledge his firm and bold handling of the anti-corruption fight which continues to earn him accolades within and outside Nigeria,” the EFCC said.

The anti-graft agency said it was worrisome that a high-ranking US lawmaker of the status of Grassley could not get his facts rightly nor establish a credible premise of attacking “an FBI- celebrated Magu.”

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