ECONOMIC and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) acting chairman Ibrahim Magu has assured Nigerians that the agency would effect the repatriation of former petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke before the end of the year.
Ms Alison-Madueke has been in the UK since 2015 when she left office, having fled to avoid facing prosecution over the numerous corruption charges pending against her. Earlier this week, Mr Magu was in London to attend the UK-Africa Summit, where he said he was getting exasperated with the refusal if Britain to extradite Ms Alison-Madueke back to Nigeria to face her corruption charges.
Yesterday, speaking during an official visit to the Ibadan zonal office of the commission, Mr Magi said the EFCC would perfect the process of securing the return of Ms Alison-Madueke to face graft charges preferred against her. He added that the EFCC was engaging foreign partners to ensure that the former minister returned to the country soon.
In addition, Mr Magu added that the EFCCt would initiate a 10 million man march against corruption and corrupt individuals in Nigeria on February 14. He expressed dissatisfaction at the slow pace of investigation by the foreign partners, especially those relating to the trial of Ms Alison-Madueke, saying she should have been released to face charges being preferred against her at home in view of the overwhelming evidence against her.
Mr Magu said: “I thank the media for being partners by collaborating with us in doing what we are doing. This year, we are going to upgrade our strategy. Everybody is on our radar, so I want you to join us on that day so that we can expose vote buyers and collect their money.
“We are collaborating with the Nigerians in diaspora, we are collecting a whole lot of information and we also want to collaborate with Nigerians locally so that they will give us more information to exposed the looters so that they can return the loot. The whistleblower policy is still active, just that it is being slowed down because you have to go to court and exhaust all the processes.
“On Diezani, we must get her. They have no reason to keep her there. Why should you keep her without taking her to court?
“This is the fifth year, why should you be investigating a matter for five years and it is a matter that is straightforward, a financial crime investigation? It is not a murder case that should linger.
“They are giving her protection for whatever reason and they are yet to disclose whatever offence she has committed. They are only relying on the evidences that we have recovered. So, they are not serious but they are our partners.”