Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu has said that he is ready to die fighting corruption in Nigeria.
Speaking with online reporters in Lagos yesterday, Magu said it took the agency 10 months to investigate the tenure of former Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi.
Magu said he was lucky to be the one, out of more than 170 million Nigerians, with the chance to lead EFCC, meaning if the fight against corruption required going with it, he was ready and determined to.
“There is too much talk about corruption fighting back, of course corruption would fight back, you don’t expect to fight somebody all the time without him fighting back,” Magu said on Monday.
“But we are resolved, we are determined to win this fight and Nigeria has about one hundred and something, over 170 million Nigerians. If I am opportune to drive this thing and in the process I happen to go with it, so be it. I am, we are ready. We are determined to fight this fight to finish.
“There are series of allegations. For instance, the case of NIMASA of N2 billion initially, we took him (Akpobolokemi) to court and later on, we realised that he had another matter that he siphoned out of public funds, about N34 billion.”
“We carried out background investigation, preliminary investigation very thoroughly. We might be on you and you would not know. It may be six months, sometimes 10 months.
“For instance, this NIMASA case, we’ve been on it for more than 10 months, before we began to invite people,” he added.
Magu has been accused of running a selective anti-corruption crusade; prosecuting only members of the opposition party, while men of the ruling party walk free. But the EFCC boss denied this, saying the agency works with petitions it receives. He said he is eager to get a petition on members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
“Nobody who is not corrupt, who is not involved, is with us.
“In all the cases, we conduct preliminary investigation. We work hard. If it is company you used, we unveil the profile of the company to see who owns the company. If it’s money, we make sure we follow the money, in your account.
“So it is not true that we just go and carry people and dump them. Sometimes you have to give chance to the person accused to say his own side of the story. And in the process the man will disclose a lot of things that you may not know. So it is very necessary for you to follow up on the information received from the person arrested, to strengthen whatever you have.
“We don’t keep people for more than 10-15 days. In fact, in most cases, we obtain relevant court orders. In all cases, if you see we keep somebody, there must be a supporting court order.
“If you are not corrupt, we will not have any cause to invite you. So we only invite corrupt people, no selective,” he said.
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