Posted by News Express | 18 May 2019 | 937 times
A flurry of attacks came the way of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, by some state governors, who dismissed the antigraft czar’s allegations that governors were fuelling insecurity across the country to justify their security votes. The governors, according to Saturday Telegraph’s investigations, insisted that Magu was “only playing to the gallery” as well as being “economical with the truth”.
While Magu alleged that some of the governors, “now covertly promote insecurity as justification to inflate their security vote”, the governors on the part maintained that the EFCC boss should be more specific in his appraisal of the ‘corruption stigma’.
Saturday Telegraph got Adamawa, Anambra, Enugu, Ekiti, Rivers states responses concerning Magu’s security vote allegation. To underscore the gravity of the situation, a former Sokoto State governor, AlhajiAttahiruBafarawa, also corroborated Magu’s claim, stressing that state governors were getting ‘richer’ as a result of the increase in the allocations set aside for their security votes.
Magu had claimed that some chief executive of states ‘now covertly promote insecurity as justification to inflate their security vote.’ Speaking during the presentation of a paper tagged: “Imperative of Fighting Corruption/ Terrorism Financing in Nigeria”, at the induction of new and returning governors at the State House, Abuja, Magu said he was not going into debate on the constitutionality of security vote, but that the governors must be conscious of transparency in the expenditure of public funds.
He said: “We have also seen evidence of theft of public resources by some state governors – cashing on the insecurity in their states.
“Insecurity has also offered the required oxygen for corruption to thrive as evident in the $2.1 billion arm procurement scandal involving top military commanders both serving and retired. “Mass poverty in the region due in part to corruption by the ruling elite, is largely to blame for the ease with which the Islamists are able to recruit fighters to sustain their aggression against the Nigerian state.
“As an investigator, I am shocked by the quantum of resources stolen from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by those who run the intervention agency. It is so bad that even a mere personal assistant to a former Managing Director was charged for stealing over N3 billion.”
According to him, “whether we like it or not, corruption and terrorism have become the twin evils, undermining our collective efforts to make Nigeria a truly great country.”
Magu said Nigeria’s loss to corruption in the last decade runs into trillions of naira and that a review of the recoveries between 2017 and now, shows that in 2017, the EFCC recovered N473.065 billion, $98 million, €7 million and £294,000, while N236.16 billion was recovered in 2018. He said the recovered sum just gives an insight into what had been stolen so far by those in leadership positions.
But reacting, the governors in separate interviews by our correspondents dismissed the anti-corruption czar’s allegations as unfounded.
•Excerpted from a New Telegraph report.
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