NIGERIAN BANKS AIDING LOOTERS? EFCC insist over 60 percent of Diezani alleged loots still in the country

Nigeria banks are suspected to be aiding former minister of Petroleum and other suspected looters of the national treasury hide their loots despite directives of the EFCC to the contrary.

About 60 per cent of funds looted by former public officers is in Nigeria, it was learnt yesterday. Besides, the $300 million on Jersey Island in the United Kingdom is yet to be repatriated, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu said. He said also that the request for the extradition of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, was not intended to cause a diplomatic row between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

Magu said the EFCC will comply with the court order to bring Mrs. Alison-Madueke back to the country. Magu said: “Yes; 60 % of the looted funds are still in the country. This is why I called you to collaborate with me to expose them and to arrest them. We cannot do it alone; how many of us are in EFCC? There are about 180m Nigerians; how many of us are working here? I want to appeal to all law enforcement agencies to collaborate with us. “Everybody must fight corruption, every Nigerian must join the fight against corruption, especially other law enforcement agencies. That was the reason we were established.”

According to Magu, “more than 80 per cent of recovered loot  recoveries outside this country are still hanging. Why is it hanging? Why is it so difficult to repatriate this money when you have established that this money came from Nigeria. And you know that this person does not own this money. “There is no justification for such. It is no small money. We have over $370 million hanging in Jersey Island in the UK,” he said.

A court has okayed Mrs Alison-Madueke’s extradition, which the EFCC is pushing. Magu said the EFCC will comply with the court order to extradite her. He added: “We are going to comply with the court order. It is in our character to comply with court orders. And there is no time we refused to comply with court orders. If we don’t comply with any court order, it means we have reasons to appeal against the court’s decision, which we have the right to do. “I need less than 72 hours to produce Diezani but how can I get her because she is being investigated by other law enforcement agencies outside this country. This is our predicament; otherwise if we see her, we will arrest her.

“The barrier is that  another law enforcement agency is in the matter. You know she is in the UK. We are making preparation to get her. Responding to a question, Magu said the request for Mrs Alison-Madueke’s extradition was not intended to cause a diplomatic row between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

He added: “The demand for Diezani’s extradition is not intended to create a diplomatic row between Nigeria and the United Kingdom. We have extra work. All we are saying is that extradite Diezani to bring her to justice. And the legal process on her extradition is on. We urge Nigerian media to put pressure on the appropriate authorities to help us extradite her.”

Reacting to the allegation that the crime agencies have not found anything against Mrs Alison-Madueke, the EFCC chairman said: “I don’t know about that. But it is not true; they cannot say that. We have been working together on this  corruption case against Diezani. I don’t have to disclose the details of our collaboration.

“But nobody will ever say  that she has not done anything. In fact, all the countries in  Europe and America and all the law enforcement agencies in the world have the knowledge of Diezani’s laundering activities. “Whatever reasons they have, we will extradite her. If we cannot get her within 72 hours, whatever will happen is for the court to say, not me. I cannot decide for the court.

“Since we say we want her and she is not here, something is wrong somewhere. I think you need to put pressure on the other side to repatriate her and to bring back the loot.” On the collaboration between the EFCC and INEC on 2019 poll, Magu said: “It is ongoing seriously. We are still on it, we are strategising. We must collaborate with the police. We are working with INEC  and the National Orientation Agency( NOA).”

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