ACTING chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu has revealed that former petroleum minister Diezani Alison-Madueke must account for a sum total of $2.5bn that went missing under her watch when she returns to Nigeria.
Oil minister during the tenure of former president Dr Goodluck Jonathan, Ms Alison-Madueke has been the subject of a series of corruption probes, with the federal high court in Nigeria confiscating some of her assets and handing them over to the government. Under investigation both in Nigeria and the UK, Ms Alison-Madueke, who was in office between 2011 and 2015, has been accused of participating in largescale corruption, including using her position to allocate lucrative oil wells to close associates worth billions of dollars.
Since leaving office, Ms Alison-Madueke has taken refuge in the UK, where she was arrested and granted bail pending the filing of formal charges against her. Ms Alison-Madueke has been asked to forfeit UK properties worth over £11m and been forced to forfeit about N7.6bn hidden in a Nigerian bank to the government.
Expressing his frustration at the failure of the UK to extradite Ms Alison-Madueke, Mr Magi said she stole so much money while she was a minister. Speaking in Kaduna ahead of the passing out parade of EFCC trainees at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Mr Magu said the commission’s personnel were trained to shoot and kill corruption in Nigeria so cannot be challenged by any threat.
He added: “I was in London this year and we did investigations together with the UK team, as anywhere I go, I always call for the extradition of corrupt Nigerians to return our money. This woman has stolen so much, not less than $2.5bn but unfortunately, she has a generation of looters who are supporting her.
“We are in touch with the international community but she is under protective custody. Otherwise, we would have arrested her and returned her to Nigeria.”
According to Mr Magi, corruption is surmountable as the commission had secured 1,266 convictions from January 2019 till date. He added that they have also handed over several forfeited properties to government agencies, thereby saving the nation billions of naira in rent.