Suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has responded to allegations that he frustrated the extradition of a former minister of petroleum, Diezani Alison-Madueke and other fugitives to face trial in Nigeria.
Rejecting the allegation, Mr Magu has now told a presidential probe panel investigating allegations of corruption against him that it was his accuser, the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, who was actually frustrating the extradition of the fugitives.
In the reports, which was originally published by the News Agency of Nigeria and republished by several newspapers, Mr Magu was accused of refusing to cooperate with crime-fighting authorities in the United Kingdom to facilitate the return of Mrs Alison-Madueke to face corruption charges in Nigeria.
The report also claimed that Mr Magu has refused to provide documentary evidence that would make the office of the Attorney General of the Federation commence the process of extraditing Mrs Alison-Madueke.
Magu, in a response to the presidential probe panel, sighted by The Sledge, the suspended EFCC boss denied refusing to share information with the National Crime Agency (NCA) of the United Kingdom.
“The NCA still shares critical information with the Commission and conducts joint operations with the Commission under the Combined Inter-Agency Task Force (CIATF) and also directly. Classified documents in this regard can be produced for sighting on request and with the consent of the NCA.
The Commission is also jointly working with the NCA on several cases including the Diezani Allison-Madueke cases and all the Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) requests on these cases are passed to the NCA and the Crown Prosecution Services through the Centra Authority Unit (CAD) of the Ministry of Justice contrary to the allegations of the HAGF,” Mr Magu wrote.
He added that following the delay by UK authorities to charge Mrs Alison-Madueke, the EFCC wrote to the authorities in the country through the AGF requesting the extradition of the former petroleum minister so she can face pending charges in Nigeria. He added that Mr Malami has yet to communicate with the commission the position of UK authorities on the request it made.
Contrary to the claim made against him by Mr Malami, Mr Magu told the probe panel that under his leadership, “the EFCC maintained a good working relationship with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation which recently acknowledged this relationship by commending the Commission publicly and on record.”
He added that apart from the request for the extradition of Mrs Alison-Madueke, the EFCC has made several requests through the AGF for the extradition of high profile Nigerian fugitives and that Mr Malami has yet to respond to any of the requests.
“Some of these fugitives include Robert John Oshodin who laundered millions of United States Dollars on behalf of former National Security Adviser (NSA) Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd), former Special to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme Mr Kingsley Kuku and Hima Aboubakar who was criminally indicted by the investigation of arms procurement conducted under the former NSA Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd). Attached and marked as Annexure 32 (a)-(e) are copies of the extradition requests of these fugitives.
“The Commission also forwarded a Mutual Legal Assistance request to the HAGF for onward transmission to the authorities of the British Virgin Island through a letter dated 9th September 2019 wherein the Commission requested for critical information in respect of the P&ID case but the Commission is yet to receive any response from the office of the HAGF,” Mr Magu wrote.
Mr Malami did not respond to calls made to him Tuesday morning seeking his comments for this story.
Last week, Mr Malami announced Mr Magu’s suspension following President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval.
Before his suspension Magu was arrested and brought before the probe panel headed by Ayo Salami, a former president of the Court of Appeal.
Mr Magu is currently being investigated by a panel headed by Ayo Salami, former president of the Court of Appeal, over allegations of corruption and insubordination levelled against him by Mr Malami.
After his arrest, allegations that Mr Magu diverted billions of naira gotten from recovered funds, as well as the interests accrued from the funds, were circulated and published on various media platforms.
The suspended EFCC boss denied the charges and insisted that all recovered assets are intact and can be accounted for.