Nigerian Anti-Corruption Agency, EFCC Probing 18 Senators Over N367.5bn Fraud

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The EFCC is currently investigating Eighteen senators for their alleged involvement in a N367.5billion fraud. According to the Nation, the senators are being investigated for allegedly committing financial crimes ranging from money laundering, misappropriation, unexecuted contracts, diversion of public funds to campaigns, and others. Some of them are being investigated for stamp duty infractures

In the charge sheet, 11 of the Senators are reportedly from the North while the remaining are from the South.  In one of the cases, a senator is being probed for alleged diversion of about N108billion while he was a governor in one of the states in the South-South. In another case, a senator allegedly embezzled about N47billion when he was a governor and that he was aided by his wife and son.

A senator is standing trial for alleged mismanagement of N1.2billion ecological funds while another allegedly diverted to other uses N1billion meant for the repair of a collapsed dam.

The other strands of the fraud include laundering of N40billion by a senator from the North-East; diversion of N3billion to the campaign by a North-West Senator; 149-count charge of mismanagement of N15billion by a senator from the North-Central and the arraignment of a North-West senator for allegedly N52billion fraud.

There is  N9billion case involving a senator from the South-East; N2.1billion contract fraud by a member of the Upper Chamber from the South-South; N10.2billion fraud traced to a senator from the North-West and N2billion diverted funds credited to a senator from the North-Central.

Two aides of a senator, who is being probed for alleged illegal deduction of N3.5billion from the London-Paris Club refund have been quizzed.

Three new senators from the North-Central, South-East, and South-West have been under investigation for some infractions, including alleged Stamp Duty collection fraud.

A source in the anti-graft agency who spoke on condition of anonymity said
"The case files of all these 18 senators are already with us. Seven of them are already on trial. But, certainly, 11 others will be prosecuted at the appropriate time. It may interest you that some agencies in a few international jurisdictions are interested in some of the cases against some of these senators. It might also interest you that some of these cases predated the appointment of the present Acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu. But since continuity is a cardinal principle of the EFCC, Magu has decided to ensure that the matters in court are pursued to logical conclusion. There is also no waiver for all cases undergoing investigation.”

The source stressed that the EFCC acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, has no personal problems with any of the senators being investigated. n response to a question, the source added

“Magu has no personal problem with any senator. He inherited most of these cases.”
Meanwhile, it was learnt that some of the senators have also made a “strong case for the discontinuation of either their investigation or prosecution by the EFCC as part of the conditions for supporting  Magu.

“In one of the lobbying sessions, a senator from the North-East said he committed no crime to have been subjected to trial by the EFCC. Although a Senator from the North-Central was aggrieved, he was reported to have said: ‘I won’t block the nomination of Magu because he is probing me. I have forgiven him. But I know I did not commit any fraud and I will be vindicated in the end.”