Recovering stolen funds in safe havens difficult –Magu

The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has stated that the agency is fighting powerful forces in the country.

Speaking during the commemoration of the 3rd African Anti-Corruption Day in Abuja on Thursday, Magu said it had been difficult for the commission to repatriate stolen funds and assets in safe havens abroad.

He said, “The forces we are against are powerful because they have a lot of stolen funds with them and enough resources to frustrate investigation and prosecution.

“But we are determined to lead the fight against corruption; to get these funds and assets back has become a problem.”

Also speaking at the event which was attended by the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, the new Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mr Mele Kyari, said President Muhammadu Buhari had never asked the corporation for any favour since he was elected in 2015.

He stated, “The President has never asked to do anything for him in our transactions and he does not interfere with what we do. We will do our best to be transparent and open on whatever we do. We are accountable to this country.”

Kyari, who led an 11-man team to the roundtable session, said, “NNPC is the focal organisation for the Open Government Partnership. Whatever we are doing, we will make sure it is open.

“I urge all of us to be part of the anti-corruption campaign. Corruption can only thrive where there is discretion. We have reduced discretion to the barest minimum in what we do.”

Also on Thursday, the Commission said it had recovered over N800bn from corrupt Nigerians within the last three years.

Magu disclosed this in Port Harcourt during a walk to mark this year’s African Anti-corruption Day.

Magu, who spoke through the Port Harcourt Zonal Head of the anti-graft agency, Abdulrasheed Bawa, said, “In Nigeria, the success is huge. The EFCC in the last four years has recovered N800bn in the country and we have recovered a lot of assets.  As you can remember, the leaders of the African continent converged on Maputo in 2003 to adopt July 11, every year as the African Anti-corruption Day.