Court Adjourns Hearing In Magu, Sun Newspaper Suit Till February

A Lagos State High Court in Ikeja, Thursday, adjourned till February 28, 2019, further proceedings of the libel suit between Ibrahim Magu, acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and Sun Newspaper, over a series of publications which the anti-graft boss described as libellous and injurious to his character.

At the resumed hearing of the matter before Justice Doris Okuwobi, Mr. Magu, who was under cross-examination by the respondent’s counsel, Charles Enwelunta, claimed before the court that he had only one house in the Karo area of Abuja as against the publication.

Magu dismissed as false the publication of March 25, 2017, titled ‘Magu under fresh probe,’ which claimed that two houses located in a highbrow area in Maitama, Abuja were traced to his wife and that he was under discreet investigation by the DSS.

He said, “Since I came to the EFCC, nobody has investigated me. I am not under any probe, the publication is totally false. Even if I have the money, I wouldn’t buy houses in Maitama.

“My wife is a civil servant. We only have one house sold to us in Karo, Abuja. The publication is completely untrue.

“I want to tell you the damage it has done to me. It was not done to me alone, it has gone down my lineage, the entire family, and it has done so much wrong. It has done so much damage.”

In the suit, Magu claimed N5bn damages and also demanded that The Sun Newspapers publish an apology and retract the alleged libellous publications.

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Unpaid Allowances: NASS Legislative Aides Writes EFCC, Buhari, Fingers Saraki, Dogara, CNA In Funds Diversion

The last has not been heard about the #WeAreAidesNotSlaves movement of Legislative aides of the National Assembly as some Legislative Aides to Federal Lawmakers have written a petition to the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, demanding an investigation into “criminal diversion of their budgeted legitimate entitlements.”

They also asked the EFCC chairman to bring the culprits to book and ensure the prompt payment of their allowances.

It will be recalled that Legislative Aides of the National Assembly has for some months been protesting the non-payment of allowances and their poor welfare in General since the inception of the 8th Assembly.

Also copied in the letter is President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, Director General of the State Security Service, Yusuf Bichi, and the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Bolaji Owansanoye.

In the letter which was made available to PREMIUM TIMES, nine of the aides, who do not want their names mentioned for fear of victimisation, signed on the endorsement page of the petition. The letter was dated November 19 and received by the anti-graft agency same day.

They accused the Senate President, Bukola Saraki; the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sani Omolori, of diverting funds appropriated to them. They accused them of complicity in the management of the legislative aides’ account.

An investigation in 2016 revealed that no fewer than 2,570 aides are engaged by the 469 members of the 8th National Assembly. Out of the number, 700 aides work for lawmakers in the Senate, while the remaining 1,870 are engaged by House of Representatives members.

As provided in the National Assembly Act, each lawmaker, excluding principal officers, is entitled to five aides – one Senior Legislative Aide (SLA), two legislative aides, a personal assistant and a secretary.

Also, the President of the Senate is entitled to 45 aides, his deputy, 30, and 20 each for principal officers.

Similarly, Speaker of the House of Representatives has 35 assistants, Deputy Speaker, 15 and 10 each for the six principal officers of the House of Representatives.

The number of aides to each legislator, it was gathered, includes those in their constituency offices.

The monthly emolument of the aides, which ranged from N150, 000 to N250, 000, sources at the assembly said, has been reduced to between N75, 000 and N180, 000 by the current leadership of the assembly.

All the aides are paid from the coffers of the assembly.

The letter, dated November 19, is titled “Petition on criminal diversion of funds of legislative aides by the clerk and presiding officers of the 8th National Assembly.”

In it, they explained that aides are employed on a short-term basis and entitled to allowances as applicable to other public servants and a severance package of 300 per cent of their annual basic salary at the end of the four -year tenure of their principals. ‘

Part of the allowance, they said, is the Duty Tour Allowance (DTA).

“Each SLA from Level 15 to 17 is entitled to the sum of N100,000 while other category of aides receives the sum of N75,000 every quarter as. DTA allowances. In essence, each aide is entitled to between N300,000 and N400,000 yearly as DTAs.

“We are also entitled to be trained four times yearly which was later compressed into twice a year. At the end of each training, each aide is entitled to a honorarium of N50,000 making a yearly total of N100,000,” part of the letter read.

They said of the 13 quarters DTA owed legislative aides of the 8th Assembly since June 2015, only two quarters has been paid, adding that there has been no training activities for the past three and half years despite the budgetary allocations for these items, “which were neither used for the said activities nor were they returned to government coffers as unused funds.”

“The non-payment of these accumulated legitimate entitlements has turned legislative aides into legislative slaves. We have been pauperized to the extent that we are unable to meet our financial obligations like payment of school fees, hospital bills, house rents, debt serving, putting us into several embarrassing situations.”

   

 

The aides praised the past senate presidents for reportedly ensuring the payments of such allowances and accused the present leadership of fraud.

“It is pertinent to point that past Senate Presidents including Evan Enwerem, Chuba Okadigbo, Adolphus Nwagbara, Pius Anyim, Ken Nnamani and David Mark were all diligent in ensuring that legislative aides receive their appropriated DTAs and training allowances.

“We are hereby alleging criminal diversion of these yearly appropriated legitimate entitlements by the Senate President and Chairman of the National Assembly, Senator Bukola Saraki, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara and the Clerk of the National Assembly, Alhaji Sani Omolori because of their complicity in the management of the legislative aides account,” they said.

The aides said all avenues employed in appealing to Messrs Saraki, Dogara and Omolori were unsuccessful, hence the last recourse to the petition.

Referring to a PREMIUM TIMES’ report on how National Assembly mismanaged billions of Naira through illegal expenditures and fraud, the aides said instead of settling the accumulated entitled, Mr Omolori engaged in sundry white elephant projects which are not captured in the original plan-of the National Assembly. These projects, they said, served as a conduit pipe of diverting and misappropriating funds meant to settle our entitlements.

When contacted, Mr Saraki’s spokesperson, Yusuf Olaniyonu, told PREMIUM TIMES that the Senate President has nothing to do with the salaries and allowances of legislative aides.

He explained that payment of the aides is controlled by the “management committee” of the National Assembly and that the aides are speaking ignorantly.

“The salaries and allowances of National Assembly aides including me, is handled by the people they call the Management committee which is headed by the clerk, like the bureaucracy of the National Assembly. The Senate President does not have anything to do with it. In fact, I attended a meeting he held with them the other day, and he told them, “I don’t know a single thing about your salaries and allowances”

This alarm raised by the legislative aides is not the first. They had on October 9, staged a protest at the National Assembly Complex to demand allowances – a protest which the Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Abdulrazak Namdas, described as “uncalled for.

This petition also comes days after hundreds of staff of the National Assembly shut lawmakers out of the complex to demand payment of their entitlements.

The workers held placards bearing inscriptions such as ‘Omolori is a contractor’ ‘Killing staff with poor condition of service’ and ‘Constitute the National Assembly Commission Now.’

Mr Omolori had addressed the protesters and declared that the problem was not from him but that the federal government had not approved the money for payment of such entitlements.

 

Premium Times 

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Anti-Graft War: EFCC Recovers N794bn In 3 Years, Says Magu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has announced that it has recovered N794 billion from looters of the nation’s treasury.

Also, the anti-graft agency said over $261 million,  8.1 millions euros and 1.1 million Pound Sterling had been  recovered from corrupt Nigerians.

Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu,  disclosed this, on Wednesday,  when he spoke  at a corruption symposium organised by the Rivers Unity House, in Port Harcourt,  Rivers State.

Magu, who was represented by the  Commission’s Head of Operations, Usman Muktar,  informed that the anti-graft czar had secured 703 conviction.

According to him, the feat was recorded between 2015 till date  when the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government came on board.

Magu said, “It is on record that about 90 percent of all the recovery in Nigeria is through the EFCC.

“Between November 2015 till date, we have recovered over N794 billion; we have recovered over 261 million dollars.

“The pounds sterling recovered stand 1,115, 930 million. Euros recovered within the period under review is 8,168,871.13?.

He added that hundreds of property such as filing stations, petroleum products, landed property, jewelries,  automobiles, and  many others,  have been recovered from corrupt Nigerians.

Speaking further, he said, “The EFCC added that 407 mansions were also seized by the Commission and 126 were forfeited finally to the Federal Government, while 281 are under forfeiture.

“We have been able to secure conviction between 2015 and 2018. We have been able to secure 703 convictions.

“The breakdown is as follows: in 2015, we have 103 convictions; in 2016, we have 194 convictions; in 2017, 189 convictions.”

SUN

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2019: EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Magu Vows To Monitor Campaign Funds

Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu has disclosed that the anti-graft agency would monitor campaign funds donated to political parties for the 2019 elections as well as donors’ identities.

Magu stated this on Wednesday while presenting a paper at a one-day retreat for the 36 state governors and key election stakeholders.

Represented by Olanipekun Olukoyede, his chief of staff, the EFCC chairman said the agency would not allow public funds to be diverted to fund political campaigns. He said politicians are required to keep proper records of all donations received by them, including the identities of the donors and be ready to show relevant security agencies at the end of the election.

“We shall keenly monitor the financial affairs of political parties to ensure that the use of public funds to finance political parties and prosecute campaigns at all levels of government is checked.

“To minimise corruption and the use of public funds to fund political parties and finance elections, there is need for greater effectiveness in enforcing the provisions of the various electoral laws in Nigeria, especially as it relates to penalties upon breach of their provisions.

“Political parties should be required to keep proper records of all incomes, contributions and expenditure, and to open their books for inspection by relevant security agencies after every electioneering cycle.

“In addition, politicians prosecuting campaigns must be required to keep proper records of all donations received by them, including the identities of the donors; and to turn their books over to relevant security agencies, and to INEC for inspection after every electioneering cycle, including the costs of litigations arising from the elections and the source of funding for the litigations.

“We do not have the manpower and other resources to confront this hydra headed monster alone. I implore fellow Nigerians to share credible intelligence with the commission on the activities of criminal politicians, so that our tasks can be made easier,” he said.

Magu said anytime money is diverted by an administration to fund an election campaign, it is money being appropriated for health, security, education, road construction, personnel costs and other amenities for the citizens.

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EFCC Secures Over 150 Convictions In 2018

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has disclosed that over 150 convictions have been secured by the commission in the last eight months.

Magu said this on Monday during a stakeholders’ meeting with religious leaders, labour unions, and traders associations at the South West Zonal Office of the commission in Iyaganku, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.

He called on individuals at the meeting to embrace the fight against corruption and urged them not to glorify corrupt leaders.

“This is a stakeholders’ summit because the fight against corruption affects all of us. Everybody in Nigeria is a stakeholder. Nigerians must take ownership of the fight against corruption.

“The number of convictions alone this year, I think we have about over 150 as at July.

“Corruption fight is not something you leave to only anti-corruption agencies. We can see that if Nigerians join in the fight against corruption, we have a longer and wider reach. The looting must stop. We should not glorify the corrupt; we should not appreciate the corrupt,” he said.

Magu also exonerated the commission of partisanship, noting that the EFCC has always made the general interest of the Nigerian populace arrowhead of its operation.

He also urged Nigerians to be transparent in the business activities they are engaged.

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Saraki Restates Commitment To Fighting Corruption

Senate President Bukola Saraki, has said the war against corruption should be everybody’s business and not one that should be taken personal.

Saraki said this on Tuesday during his visit to the N24billion newly completed office complex of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which Saraki inspected for about 40 minutes.

Recall that the Senate, under the leadership of Saraki, twice rejected Ibrahim Magu as the substantive head of the anti-graft agency.

The Senate President is also facing trial over alleged false assets declaration.

“My presence here is to say that whatever we do in our job, the most important thing is that we all represent institutions and we must work and see that it is in the interest of the country,” Saraki said.

He added: “I think we have all said it. It is something we must fight. There is no way you can build a society without fighting corruption.

“I have always said that my own strong will is that as we fight it, we must fight it in ensuring that we strengthen the institutions and what you see here is part of the process of strengthening those institutions so that whoever comes here will know that this is what we must fight if we want to build institutions.

“I think it (project) has gone through about three executive chairmen and one did not come in to say this is not my project and I must not continue. Each one has taken it as his own project.  I think that is good and that is the whole point that is important and this is something we will be proud of for many years.

“In many years to come, I hope that we don’t have corruption in an environment like this but for now, I think there are many good aspects of this. Having a Nigerian that designed this, the details are very impressive-  the clinic  and all the facilities- and the fact that it has gone through three different administration and the fact that the National Assembly has played its role and brought it to completion, I think that it is a lot of plus.”

 

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Magu Is The Right Man For The Job, Says Vice President Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, (SAN), has reiterated that the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu is the right man to head the commission.

Osinbajo, in an interview with selected press men stated that although the Senate are entitled to take some of the positions they are taking but President Muhammadu Buhari  believes that this is the right man for the job.

“The DG of the State Security Service, upon the request by the Senate, wrote a security report and sent it, yet it is up to the President to decide whether he’s going to present this candidate. Interfering with the process of a security report is not leadership, that’s obstructing. He is not supposed to interfere. If you say, “Send your report”, whatever report you want to send, the man defends himself, and we still believe he is the right person for the job. That is the position that we took when he was presented the second time,” Osinbajo said.

Equally, the Vice President further mentioned that the President “has said that the EFCC has the absolute right to go ahead and do whatever it needs to do to ensure that anybody who has committed a crime, or who is suspected to having committed a crime, is brought to justice, and that’s the position that the EFCC has taken.”

“To ensure that you allow government agency do their business, that’s very important; that’s institution building.  Look at what is happening in the US today; the President is sometimes angry with the FBI because the FBI is doing its independent work, and that’s what we hope to achieve: when you see countries where agencies are doing their work the way they are supposed to do it,” he added.

 

 

 

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Senate’s Decision Not To Confirm Me As Substantive Chairman Of EFCC Shows I’m Working, Says Magu

Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has said that Senate’s decision not to confirm him as the substantive chairman of the Commission shows that he is working.

Magu said this during an interview on a programme on Channels Television titled, ‘Question Mark.’

When asked if he was not demoralised by the Senate’s refusal to confirm him, Magu said, “I don’t think so. In fact, I feel a lot of encouragement. The fact that I am not confirmed shows that I am working. In the anti-corruption environment, if they rush to confirm you, it means you are not really doing your work properly.”

When asked why he was the first person to head the commission in acting capacity for such a long time, he said, “There are many people we are investigating who are members of the National Assembly.”

Magu also rubbished reports that he was not confirmed because of the report from the Department of State Services.

He said, “I am not distracted. Rather, it pushes me; I am encouraged.”

 

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EFCC Recovered Over N473bn, $98million, €7million, £294,000 In 2017, Says Magu

Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, on Monday, disclosed details of recovered assets to lawmakers in Abuja.

Magu, who appeared before a budget defence session convened by the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes said that the commission has retrieved over N473billion in 2017.

While briefing the lawmakers on the performance of the 2017 Budget of the anti-graft agency, as well as its budget for 2018, Magu added that N473billion, $98million, €7million, and £294,000 among others were recovered from alleged looters.

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Magu’s Confirmation: Court Affirms Senate’s Authority To Accept Or Reject Persons Into Office

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has affirmed Nigerian Senate’s authority to accept or reject candidate into office.

This judgement follows a suit challenging the Senate’s authority to deny an appointee to the office of Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) under the EFCC Act.

The Court in its ruling said that “the Senate is conferred with the authority to ensure the choice of “only suitable and credible persons for appointment to the office”.

The court further held that any impression that the Senate is a rubber stamp of Presidential appointees is misconceived and running contrary to Section 2(3) of the EFCC Act.

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Magu Charges Corp Members To Shun Corruption And Criminality

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes  Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has charged members of the National Youth Service Corp, NYSC, to shun corruption and all forms of criminality.
Magu made the call on, January 24, 2018 during a lecture at the NYSC orientation camp in Issele Ukwu, Delta State.
Speaking on the topic, “The Role of Youths In Curbing Corruption”, Magu who was represented by Williams Oseghale of the Public Affairs Directorate, Benin Zonal Office, said there was no short cut to success only hard work in legitimate activities.
His words:  “Shun Corruption and Criminality because if you are caught, the consequences are grave. Acts of criminality might deliver wealth in the short run but ultimately there will be misery and gnashing of teeth.”
He urged the corps members to take ownership of the fight against corruption and become agent of change in their area of primary assignment.
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