Suspects who return stolen funds may still be prosecuted – Magu

The Chairman of the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission,
Ibrahim Magu, has said the
commission could still prosecute
suspects even after they have
returned stolen money to the
treasury.

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MR. Magu had said in recent press
interviews that the EFCC had
recovered billions of naira,
especially from its ongoing
investigations into the $2.1billion
arms money allegedly diverted by
former NSA, Sambo Dasuki.
In his first detailed interview since
his appointment in November, Mr.
Magu told The Interview in its
February edition, that “what
matters first and foremost is for
everyone involved in the arms
deal scam to return the money he
or she may have collected. That
does not preclude such suspect
from facing prosecution.”
He said this while answering a
question on whether the EFCC
would enter plea-bargaining with
suspects or waive prosecution if
stolen funds were returned.
The EFCC Chairman said the rat
race for wealth among public
office holders was one of the
major reasons for rampant
corruption in the country.
“Political offices in Nigeria are too
attractive,” he said. “This
encourages a rat race of sorts.
Also, the judiciary, which is the
last resort, has allegedly been
complicit, making civil servants
who have been found guilty of
corruption feel confident to poke
the law in the face and go scot-
free.”
Mr. Magu said Nigerians should be
outraged at the amount of money
originally set aside for the war on
Boko Haram, but “which was
diverted for personal use.”
He said this was just one of the many cases of
looted funds being investigated by the EFCC.
“There should be a national outrage by now,”
Mr. Magu said. “There is something wrong with
our values. Corruption has been celebrated
over the years.”
The EFCC Chairman said allegations against the
commission that its anti-corruption war was
politically motivated was proof that corruption
was already fighting back.
Mr. Magu also spoke on his first meeting with
President Muhammadu Buhari; his efforts to
clean up the commission; and whether or not
he might break the one-term jinx that has
plagued the chairmen of the commission since
its founding in 2003.
A statement by the Managing Director/Editor-
In-Chief of The Interview, Azu Ishiekwene,
described the edition as, “our gift to our
growing community of readers beyond
Valentine.”
Also in this edition, the founder of
Saharareporters, a leading online news
platform, Omoyele Sowore, spoke about the
odysseys of the platform in its one decade of
existence this month. Mr. Sowore called out
former President Olusegun Obasanjo for
“letting corruption ruin Nigeria,” on his watch
and reflected on his encounter with, Gbenga,
son of the former president.
In another interview in the edition, Sam
Adeyemi, pastor of the 20,000-strong Daystar
Christian Centre, said, “religion that does not
change your thinking is useless,” as he fielded
questions on the church, politics and
leadership.

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