…Says the commission secures 158 convictions in 8 months
…Fayose writes EFCC, says he is ready for probe
Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, has said that the commission will remain neutral in the discharge of its duties without any link to any political or religious affiliations.
He also stated that the EFCC, under its watch, will focus exclusively in fighting corruption within the ambit of the rule of law.
Speaking during an interactive session with editors and media managers in Abuja on Wednesday, Magu stated that the commission would not shield institutions or any corrupt persons from investigation and prosecution.
Stressing that the agency would not engage in a witch-hunt, the EFCC boss said that its activities were in line with international best practices.
He said, ‘‘In all that we do, we are guided first by the fear of God and patriotism to our fatherland and the rule of law.
‘‘I will continue to discharge my duties guided by fear of God, overriding interest of Nigeria and rule of law”.
Outlining the notable achievements recorded so far by the agency, Magu revealed that the commission has secured no fewer than 158 convictions between January and August this year.
According to him, the commission within the same period recovered the sums of N106.5billion, $1.635million, €629,193 and €25,575 respectively.
Magu also disclosed said that the EFCC is partnering with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and the Assets Management Cooperation of Nigeria (AMCON) to arrest and prosecute tax defaulters in the country.
He said, “So far, the commission had recovered over N35billion for the FIRS and N4billion for AMCON.
Tax liabilities of other institutions running into billions of naira have also been identified and the companies have agreed to pay.
“Furthermore, in an effort to maximise and utilise some of the forfeited properties recovered by the commission, numerous government agencies have been allocated such properties to be used as offices.
” These magnificent properties are currently housing institutions such as VAIDS office under the Ministry of Finance, a unit from the Defence Headquarters , Voice of Nigeria, North -East Initiative and also Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).
Magu added that the development will drastically reduce the cost of payment on rented apartments by the institutions and urged managers of the Fourth Estate of the Realm not to relent in its role in the fight against corruption by exposing corruption where ever it exist.
Speaking on the need for Nigerians to collectively join the fight against corruption and own the process, Magu told the editors that everybody must be involved in the war against corruption in view of its devastating effects on the well being of the people.
He said, ” We all have the responsibility to fight the menace. We must bring everybody on board. A situation where an individual is richer than Nigeria is unacceptable. We are also in the process of reviewing the strategy of fighting corruption.
It is all about Nigeria and I urge every stakeholders to do the right thing for the development of the country.
Meanwhile, outgoing Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose, has written a letter to the EFCC offering himself for probe on October 16.
He added that the immunity which he enjoyed under Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution as sitting governor of Ekiti State will elapse in October 15 after which he says that the commission can now probe him.
Fayose said, “I wish to inform you that my term of office pursuant to which I enjoy immunity against investigation and prosecution under the above provision shall lapse by effusion of time on Monday, October 15, 2018.
“As a responsible citizen of our great country, who believes in the rule of law, I wish to inform you of my decision to make myself available to your office on Tuesday, 16th October 2018 at 1pm to clarify issues or answer questions on issues within my knowledge.”
The letter, dated September 10, 2018, was titled “Notification of my decision to make myself available in your office.
The letter reads in part, “Several and serial actions of the commission for some time now including but not limited to freezing of my accounts and attempt to secure temporary forfeiture of my properties are indicative of the commissions desire to have me clarify some issues or answer some questions but for the immunity I enjoy under the section 308 of the 1999 constitution as the sitting governor of Ekiti state.
“I wish to inform you that my term of office pursuant to which I enjoy immunity against investigation and prosecution under the above provision shall lapse by effluxion of time on Monday 15 October 2018.
“As a responsible citizen of our great country who believes in the rule of law, I wish to inform you of my decision to make myself available in your office on Tuesday, October 16th at 1 pm to clarify issues or answer questions within my knowledge.”
Meanwhile, , the Special Assistant to Governor Fayose on public communications and new media, Lere Olayinka, has confirmed that the letter was received at the EFCC office in Abuja on Tuesday.