By Odunewu Segun
There seems to be discordant tunes in President Muhammadu inner cabinet as two key officials are set for head-on collision over the actual amount recovered in the last two years by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, under Ibrahim Magu stewardship.
In a memo dated February 9th, signed by the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, and addressed to the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, the Minister demanded that the anti-graft agency should provide the right information about the recovered cash assets from May 2015 till date.
In the memo titled: Summary of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Recoveries from May 2015-January 2018, Adeosun queried Magu’s figures, noting that the recovery figures attributed to the agency by various media reports do not reconcile with the records of the ministry.
Recall that in 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari had asked the EFCC and other agencies to provide detailed submission of amount of monies so far recovered since 2015 when he took over.
Buhari, it was gathered, wanted an inventory to present to those who criticize the government for failing in the anti-graft war, rather than rely on propaganda to give the impression that it was achieving results.
While appearing before the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes to defend the 2018 budget estimates of his agency, Magu said the commission in 2017 alone recovered a total of N473, 065,195,977.50; $98,258,124.97 and €7,247,363.75 in 2017.
He said other funds recovered from “corrupt” persons and organisations by the EFCC last year included GBP 294,851.82; Dirham 443,400.00 and South African Rand 70,500.00.
He explained that, as part of the assets recovery drive of the anti-graft agency, the commission secured a final forfeiture of N32 billion and $5 million recovered from former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, to the Federal Government’s coffers.
The EFCC boss added that the commission also secured the final forfeiture of N449 million and over $43 million discovered at Legico Plaza in Victoria Island, Lagos, and Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos, respectively.
According to him, other recoveries by the EFCC in 2017 were N329 billion from petroleum marketers by its Kano office; withholding tax of over N27.7 billion from different banks; €6.6 million from Nigerian Ports Authority; about N1.1 billion recovered on behalf of Assets Management Company of Nigeria and over N4 billion from subsidy fraud.
However, Adeosun in the memo made available to National Daily said the records in the data based on information available to the office of the Accountant-General do not match.
“It has however, come to the attention of the Ministry of Finance, the use of recovery figures in the Media reports by the EFCC that do not reconcile with the records of the Ministry. You are therefore, kindly requested to clarify where these cash recoveries have been deposited and provide accompanying evidence,” she said in the memo.