The presidential panel that probed Ibrahim Magu says the cases compromised under the watch of the former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were calculated to the tune of N333 billion, $2 billion and £13 million. In the final report submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2020, the judicial panel said the running and management of the anti-graft commission during Magu’s tenure was charaterised by impunity and arbitrariness,TheCable can report.. Usman Zakari, an operative of the commission, was said to have bungled 23 cases worth N45 billion, while the commision was accused of violating procurement processes. The panel headed by Ayo Salami, former president of the court of appeal, was set up to probe the EFCC from May 2015 to May 2020 when Magu was in charge of the agency. TheCable understands that the report has now been submitted to the office of the secretary to the government of the federation. A panel to produce the white paper will soon be set up, presidency sources informed TheCable. When TheCable contacted Wahab Shittu, Magu’s lawyer, to react to the report, he declined to comment, saying he wouldn’t speak on a document he has not seen. “The EFCC awarded the contract for the new headquarters consultancy services at the rate of N451,318,501 instead of the N399,243,290 approved by the BPP. The commission observes that the EFCC formed the habit of not engaging the use of the default procurement method (open competitive bidding). The EFCC in some cases, extend/renew contracts without obtaining approvals from the relevant/appropriate authorities,” the panel said. “The submissions made by the EFCC on the status of investigation conducted by the zonal offices exposed some operatives who are notoriosly engaged in brazen compromise of cases. The affected cases were either closed or Kept-in-View (KIV) by the dubious operatives. “The compromised cases in naira denomination involved the sum of N333,535,364,077. The compromised cases in US dollar denomination are valued at $2,521,011,976. The compromised cases calculated in British pounds denomination are valued at £13,143,570. One of the operatives identified as Usman Zakari dubiously kept-in-view 23 different cases, with offences ranging from money laundering, diversion of funds, obtaining under false pretense, all involving a total sum of N45,262,005,908.” PANEL: EFCC HAS NO OPERATING MANUAL In the final report, the panel further said some of the EFCC zonal offices are lacking in basic working equipment and vehicles, and that the commission’s working system is archaic. The panel asked the government to direct the EFCC to subject its personnel to periodic vetting by the relevant security agency. “The EFCC does not have an approved regulation/scheme of service and an operating manual that guide the management and operations of the commission. The EFCC legal department is assessed by the commission as being dysfunctional, as the department is fragmented with no clear-cut leadership structure,” the report stated. “Some of the common findings of the annual internal audit exercise are poor exhibit management systems (stale financial instruments, unfortified exhibit room, exhibits not insured in spite of huge volume of cash often in the custody of exhibit keepers. Also, exhibits taken to courts by investigating officers were sometimes not returned to the exhibit keeper, while no case reference number are marked on exhibits and exhibits are released to IPOs without the mandatory bond); exhibits keepers are not properly trained. “Poor categorisation of forfeited assets into interim and final; some forfeited assets were being occupied without the occupants paying rents and in some intances, the suspects are still in occupation or retain control. Absence of proper procurement planning; absence of standard operating procedures (SOPs); inadequate working tools for operatives at the EFCC zonal offices to enhance their performance; and there was no clear internal audit programme.” The panel recommended that the EFCC act should be amended to provide an explicit supervisory role of the attorney-general of the federation over the commission. TheCable had earlier reported how the panel accused Magu of abandoning 14 procurement fraud cases involving N118 billion and $309 million. In addition, he was said to have failed to remit another N48 billion loot in foreign and local currencies recovered from suspects. TheCable reported how Magu was accused of failing to account for a N431 million security vote allocated to his office between 2015-2020, while he used part of the money to pay for electricity bills on his personal farm and subscribe to cable television in his private residence. TheCable also reported how the panel accused Magu of killing high-profile cases while chasing after Internet fraudsters, popularly known as “Yahoo Boys”free vector
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