The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Friday defended the allegation that its former acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, misappropriated 222 properties worth N1.63tn recovered by the Abdulrasheed Maina-led Pension Reformed Task Team.
Counsel for the EFCC, Mohammed Abubakar, said the allegation made by one Ngozika Ihuoma could not be proved.
Ihuoma, who is the first defence witness in the trial of Maina for N2bn fraud, had made the allegation during his testimony in Maina’s defence before the court.
Ihuoma had told the court on Thursday that the properties were handed over to the EFCC and sold by Magu to his friends and associates.
The witness said a petition written to the Attorney General of the Federation led to the setting up of the Ayo Salami-led judicial commission of inquiry which probed Magu for allegation of corruption and abuse of office.
Ihuoma had said, “Magu admitted before Salami that he shared and allocated most of these properties to most of his friends, associates, colleagues under some presidential directives but failed to make available to the commission the evidence of that presidential directives.”
However, during cross-examination by the EFCC counsel on Friday, the witness admitted that no document to prove the allegation against Magu was brought before the court.
“Did you tender in court the purported petition to the AGF against Magu and the EFCC that led to the setting up of the Ayo Salami panel? You did not tender proof that Magu confessed to the allegations. You said that the report of the Ayo Salami panel indicted Magu but did not tender the said report submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari about the activities of the panel,” Abubakar said.
Maina is standing trial for allegedly laundering money to the tune of N2bn.
Meanwhile, the new Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, on Friday, said the agency would create an intelligence directorate to steer it towards proactive and intelligence-led investigation.
Bawa said he would fight corruption and not corrupt persons.
According to a statement by the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, titled, ‘Bawa assumes office, says fight against corruption will be intelligence-driven,’ the anti-graft commission’s chairman said the new directorate would ensure a proactive response to the fight against corruption.
He said, “We are going to digitalise our processes and we are going to create a new full-pledged directorate of intelligence to enable us gather intelligence so that we will be proactive in our fight against economic and financial crimes; and by so doing, we will also provide the government with necessary quality advice that will lead to good governance.”