Thursday, August 24, 2017

Ibrahim Magu, EFCC, Working Against Fight To End Corruption -Attorney General Of The Federation, Abubakar Malami

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minster of Justice, Abubakar Malami, (SAN), has accused the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) boss, Ibrahim Magu, of frustrating the country's anti-graft war.

Malami accused Magu and the EFCC leadership of using “manipulated and misused intelligence to the detriment of the fight against corruption and financial crimes in Nigeria.”

He alleged that Magu has no understanding of what Nigeria's suspension by Egmount group can do to the country and therefore working against the lifting of the country's suspension.

The Nation reports that Nigeria, represented in the group by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), was suspended on June 1, 2007 because the NFIU lacks independence and was subject to the control of the EFCC via the provision of the Section 1(2)(c) of the EFCC Act.

The group demanded autonomy for NFIU as a condition for the country’s readmission, failing which it would be expelled.

Since the nation’s suspension, Malami and Magu have been unable to agree on how to meet the condition set by the Egmont Group for the country’s readmission.

While the AGF wants the creation of an autonomous NFIU, detached from the EFCC, and has sent a Bill to the National Assembly to that effect, Magu wants NFIU to remain part of EFCC, but with mere re-organisation of its operations.

Malami, who spoke through his spokesman, Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, said: “The EFCC is now in a state of paranoia, as it dreads the effort of the government to have an independent NFIU, which it has stood against stoically since 2006.

“As it presently stands, the NFIU staff are all deployed by the EFCC to serve in the interest of whoever is its current Chairman. This has to stop if it must conform to the new thinking and global best practice. Nigeria cannot be an island of its own. It cannot fight corruption in isolation.

“The threat of expulsion from the Egmont Group calls for a thorough review of the NFIU and the manner in which the EFCC leadership has manipulated and misused intelligence to the detriment of the fight against corruption and financial crime in Nigeria.

“To achieve the desired goal, NFIU needs to stand alone as an agency with full complements of power to recruit its staff and an annual budgetary allocation guaranteed for its operations.

“Its independence must be ascertained in the new law to set up Nigerian Financial Intelligence Agency (NFIA) to enable it carry out its mandate, which shall include responsibilities for receiving, requesting, analysing and disseminating financial intelligence reports on money laundering, terrorist financing and other relevant information to law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies, and other relevant authorities.”

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