WITH different officials of the Federal Government eagerly beating their chest over how much has been recovered from former functionaries, there is a growing confusion in Abuja over the actual amount already recovered.
In May 2016, Minister of Information, Mr. Lai Mohammed, said government recovered N78.3 billion, $185 million, £3.5 million and €11,250.
In addition, he disclosed that 239 non-cash recoveries were made with interim forfeiture amounting to N126 billion, $9 billion, £2.4 million and €303,399.
He also put anticipated repatriation of looted funds from offshore sources at $321.3 million, £6.9m and €11,826, the minister added.
These figures are, however, different from those recently given by acting chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, late last year at the seventh session of the Conference of State Parties to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption in Vienna, Austria.
According to Magu, EFCC monetary recoveries between May 2015 and October 20, 2017 were in excess of N738.9 billion, which is equivalent to over $2.9 billion, adding “this does not include smaller currencies like Durham, CRA and British Pound,” he added.
“Within this year alone, the commission recovered stolen assets running into several millions of US dollars and billions in naira. This include the sum of $43 million recovered from Deziani Allison-Madueke, Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum and N2 billion spread in seven accounts within three Nigerian banks laundered from the Federal Capital Territory Police Command Salary Accounts,” he explained.
The variation of figures is apparently causing some confusion in government as the Finance Minister, Mrs Kemi Adeosun has written a letter to Magu, asking him to explain how much exactly the EFCC has recovered.
In the letter dated February 9, 2018, and personally sined by her, entitled “Summary of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recoveries from May 2015 to January 2018”, the Finance minister wrote:
“This is to notify you of the records of cash assets recoveries in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from May 2015 till date based on the information available to the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (attached).
“It has, however, come to the attention of the Ministry of Finance, the use of recovery figures in media reports by the EFCC that do not reconcile with the records of the Ministry.
You are, therefore, kindly requested to clarify where these cash recoveries have been deposited and provide accompanying evidence.”
It will be recalled that one of the reasons given by the Senate for refusing to confirm Magu for the position was his inability to give figures of recoveries as of the time he was being interviewed by the committee of the whole house.
Some citizens have also accused the anti-graft agency of converting part of recovered looted funds to personal use by agents.
A senior official in the Ministry of Justice said “it appears that Magu is using a different means of computation from standard procedure.
“Maybe he is adding the value of confiscated property to the cash recoveries, which should not be so,” the official said.