A former aide of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, says the claim that N1.3 trillion was stolen between 2011 and 2015 was untrue.
In a statement on Tuesday, Omokri said the claim by Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), is an attempt to divert attention from a recent report of US State Department “which directly indicted” the Buhari administration.
In a paper delivered on his behalf at a programme in Lagos on Monday, Magu said the money stolen during those years — when Jonathan was in power — was by 32 entities, including private individuals and organisations.
Omokri urged Magu to desist from unfounded allegations and political partisanship and focus on putting the commission on the right track.
“Just days after the United States Department released a report which established that massive corruption remains rife under the Buhari administration, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has come out with a very incongruous riposte, intended to divert the attention of the public from the damning report,” Omokri said.
“Ibrahim Magu, as usual, sought to drag the name of former President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan into the mix and blame him for this latest in a series of negative verdicts on the current administration’s anti-graft war.
“This is strange because Magu was expected to have used the forum to address the issues of impunity raised in the U.S. State Department report which directly indicted leaders of the anti-corruption crusade by emphatically noting, among other things, that ‘there is a climate of impunity in the President Muhammadu Buhari government that allows officials to engage in corrupt practices with a sense of exemption from punishment’.
“The truth is that Ibrahim Magu lied and this is not the first, or second time he has lied to the public.
“It would be recalled that Mr. Magu has boasted on many occasions that the EFCC under him had recovered about N739 billion within two years, adding that over N500 billion was recovered in 2017 alone.
“However, Kemi Adeosun, the then minister of finance in the same Government at that time, decided to put a lie to Mr. Magu’s claims, by revealing in March 2018 that contrary to all the figures provided over time by the EFCC’s acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, only N91 billion of such claims could be accounted for by the Government.”