Justice Ayo Salami led presidential probe panel investigating activities of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and its suspended acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu has made startling discovery.
The panel has uncovered whopping 571 banks accounts used in siphoning funds and assets from politically exposed persons.
A highly placed source close to the panel yesterday told Nigerian Pilot that the discovery was made possible through the forensic investigation audit carried out on the EFCC.
From the bulky documents sighted by Nigerian Pilot, almost all Nigerian commercial banks are affected in the deals which list transaction details which clearly state who got what amount.
According to the source, correspondences between EFCC and banks regarding office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation pension accounts allegedly showed how monies were diverted to personal pockets.
The source said that from the forensic investigation report, individuals and corporate entities that monies were paid into their coffers without any justification would be forced to refund to the federal government coffers or face prosecution.
The source also said that not less than 2,700 individuals and 780 coys benefitted from the N31 billion largesse paid into their various accounts.
He further added that an elder statesman, General Theophilus Danjuma (rtd) would appear before the panel to testify against embattled Ibrahim Magu when sitting resumes tomorrow being August 4, 2020.
He said that from the testimony of the former prosecutor of EFCC, Chief Godwin Obla (SAN) he performed well, such that the panel may order the Federal Government, through the EFCC, that his legal fees amounting to over N600million be refunded to him immediately.
President Muhammadu Buhari had set up the committee, chaired by Justice Salami, a retired President of the Court of Appeal, to investigate alleged mismanagement of recovered assets by the EFCC between May 2015 and May 2020.
A petition by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), who announced that Magu’s suspension is believed to have triggered the investigation.
Since his suspension from office, Magu has been detained at the Force Criminal Investigation Department’s Area 10 Abuja headquarters from where he has been appearing before the investigators sitting at the State House before he was eventually granted administrative bail.
The investigative committee is set up based on the Tribunals of Inquiry Act, a government statement said.
However, Wahab Shittu, counsel to Magu, in a letter directed to the panel, Magu said he had not seen the petitions containing the allegations against him nor had the panel availed him of their terms of reference.
“Mr Chairman, since the 6th of July when our client honoured your invitation, he has been consistently applying to the Committee to be given the petitions containing the allegations of CONSPIRACY, CORRUPT ENRICHMENT, ABUSE OF POWER/OFFICE, which request has not been honoured or obliged till date,” the letter reads.
“Our client has also informed us that he remains unaware of the terms of reference of this distinguished committee,” adds the letter.
Among such “unfounded allegations which never featured in the proceedings of the committee thus far,” the letter said, were that Magu gave Vice President Yemi Osinbajo N4billion (an allegation Osinbajo has denied); that he ran secret accounts; procured cronies to front for him; and that he acquired properties in Dubai.
It continuea: “That our client as a result of this campaign of calumny has been paraded like a common criminal and subjected to all manners of insults and embarrassment just for serving his nation diligently and efficiently as the arrow-head of the anti-corruption campaign of this administration.
It would be recalled that AGF Malami said in a statement that Magu’s suspension was approved by President Buhari and that it was to enable an “unhindered” investigation.
Mohammed Umar, the Director of preparations under Magu, has since been appointed as the acting chairman of EFCC.