The suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has revealed how the EFCC distributed vehicles and other properties forfeited to the President Muhammadu Buhari Federal Government, to the State House and other Federal Agencies, instead of auctioning them and lodging the proceeds in the Federation Account, where it would be shared by all the Federating Units of the country,
This was revealed in the response he gave to an allegation that he converted some assets forfeited to the government, for personal enrichment.
Magu told the Presidential Probe Panel investigating him for various corruption allegations, in a letter, that the allegation that he enriched himself with forfeited assets, is “totally false, untrue, and merely targeted at destroying my hard-earned reputation as an incorruptible Officer”.
He added: “Since my assumption of Office as the Ag. Chairman of the Commission, not a single recovered or forfeited property has been sold and the proceeds fraudulently converted.”
He said that all properties finally forfeited to the government are intact, except those that secured Presidential Approval for Allocation to some government Agencies.
Of all the properties recovered, he stated that only the proceeds of 244 trucks, which were sold on the orders of the Federal High Court, in conjunction with the Department Petroleum Resources, DPR, were remitted to the recovery account domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
According to Magu, properties that were distributed with the approval of President Buhari, include vehicles given to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management. The value price of these vehicles were deducted from the Ministry’s allocation, Magu claimed.
He also claimed that the State House, National Commission for Refugees and Displaced Persons, and the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, were allocated some of the vehicles.
Forfeited motorcycles were given to the National Directorate for Employment, NDE, he added.
Federal Agencies who received real Estate properties permanently forfeited to the Federal Government, are the Voice of Nigeria, VON, National Directorate of Employment, NDE, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, North-East Development Commission, NEDC, and Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate, PTAD.
Properties which were under interim forfeiture to the government, were also “rented” to the Nigeria Army, Federal Ministry of Finance, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, FRC, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NDC, and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN.
He said that the Nigeria National Human Rights Commission, NNHRC, and the National Council for Arts and Culture, NCAC, “have also approached the Commission to rent some properties that are under interim forfeiture”; he did not however, explain who collects the rents.
Magu did not explain the criteria for distributing the forfeited vehicles to the Agencies, suggesting that the ‘Presidency’ may have arbitrarily approved the distribution to the Agencies.
While the EFCC investigates corruption and secures the forfeiture of proceeds of corruption from all Federating Units in the country, the letter revealed that it has mainly distributed these assets to Federal Agencies.
Magu added that the Commission temporarily allowed the Lagos State Government to use a forfeited property as an Isolation Centre for patients of Covid-19.
He further stated that the EFCC has secured Presidential approval to auction over 450 forfeited vehicles in Abuja and Lagos, adding that, the vehicles had already been valued by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, and the National Automotive Council, NAC.