SUSPENDED acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has denied media reports that the commission under him misappropriated the sum of N329 billion recovered for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Magu denied what he termed “misleading and fallacious media reports” in a statement by his lawyer, Wahab Shittu, made available to the Nigerian Tribune on Sunday.
According to the statement, well over N329 billion recovered by EFCC under Magu was remitted directly into “NNPC dedicated accounts via Remitta under special arraignment endorsed by NNPC, EFCC and the affected indebted marketers.
“By the virtue of the special arrangement, NNPC had requested formally for the EFCC to recover the said amount from the affected NNPC’s marketers who were expected to pay such funds directly to NNPC, while NNPC, in turn, confirmed receipt of such payments to EFCC.
“Therefore, EFCC never took custody of any of the recovered funds and, so the question of misappropriation of such unds by EFCC or our client could not have arisen as falsely published.” The lawyer said the fact could be independently verified at both NNPC and EFCC records.
He added that a subsidiary of NNPC, the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) Limited, even wrote a letter with reference number: PPMC/ MD/254, dated August 17, 2017, to commend EFCC under Magu’s watch “for the successful collaboration between the EFCC and PPMC/ NNPC which largely resulted in the huge recovery of debts from the marketers since the inception of the recovery exercise in 2016.”
The statement added that the issue of NNPC recovered funds never featured in the proceedings of the Justice Ayo Salami-led presidential panel investigating Magu, adding that “our client (Magu) has never been confronted with such wild allegations.”
It further noted that Magu was unfairly accused of failure to properly explain the rationale for excluding some culprits in the alleged misappropriation of N3 billion at the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), adding that the matter had since been referred for prosecution with charges prepared ahead of the arraignment.
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