*Says 80% of stolen cash stashed abroad, 60% in Nigeria
By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
ABUJA—Acting Chairman ofEconomic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, yesterday, vowed to comply with a Federal Territory High Court order to produce former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, in court within 72 hours to stand trial for alleged graft while in office.
Magu, who made the vow at a briefing in Abuja, also lamented that 80 percent of Nigeria’s looted funds were still trapped abroad, while 60 percent of the stolen wealth was hidden in Nigeria by fraudulent and highly placed persons he described as “sharks.”
He, however, vowed to take all necessary steps to unravel and retrieve the stolen wealth and bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice, no matter how long and tedious the judicial process might be.
Magu lamented that the efforts of the commission to extradite Diezani were hampered by the fact that the former minister was in a foreign jurisdiction, which made it a bit more difficult to produce her immediately as directed by the court.
He said in compliance with the court order, the commission had stepped up effort to persuade the British authorities to extradite Diezani to face prosecution for sundry economic and financial crimes, having not charged her for any offence in the last three years, as widely expected.
Magu said: “We are going to comply with the court order to bring back the former minister. Our only predicament is that the former minister is in another country, which we are talking with over the matter. If she is here, we would simply hand her over to the judge.
‘’Let me also say that it is not true that Diezani has no case in Britain. All the EU countries are aware of her money laundering case. If we cannot get her within the deadline, we will go back to the court.”
He denied claims that the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office had not established any case against the former minister and was, therefore, not pressing any charges against her but expressed fears that the prolonged delay in charging her to court had already sent wrong signals to Nigerians at home and abroad.
Magu also shed light on the lingering investigation on how top Presidency officials received kickbacks running into billions of dollars from the American oil and energy firm, Halliburton, in the early days of the PDP Presidency.
He said the anti-graft agency was working hard to determine how the huge bribes were shared in order to take appropriate actions against the culprits but did not give further details.