Ibrahim Magu, the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has said some of the vehicles and properties forfeited to the commission by indicted persons were auctioned to the Presidential Villa, as well as ministries, department and agencies.
Magu stated this in a letter addressed to the Justice Ayo Salami-led presidential investigative panel, entitled: “Re: Alleged Case of Conspiracy, Enrichment, Abuse of Public Office and Other Infractions.”
The letter, it was learnt, was a response by the embattled EFCC czar to allegations of him being unable to account for some of the houses and properties recovered by the anti-graft agency.
He explained that some of these ministries and agencies had not paid for the vehicles, but an arrangement is in place for the money to be deducted from their financial allocation.
He also said about 450 other vehicles which were recovered had yet to be sold, despite receiving presidential approval to do so.
The letter read: “On allocation of vehicles to some government agencies through special auction with presidential approval. The beneficiary agencies are: the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management of which the valued price is to be debited from their allocation; State House, National Commission for Refugees and Displaced Persons; Federal Inland Revenue Service and National Directorate of Employment.
“The commission presently has presidential approval to dispose over 450 forfeited vehicles located in Lagos and Abuja. The vehicles have been valued by the National Automotive Council Valuers and the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing. But no sale/disposal has been conducted yet.”
Magu also wrote that some of the houses permanently forfeited to the Federal Government by looters had also been handed over to some government agencies, while some other properties that have been temporarily relinquished have also been allocated to ministries, agencies and branches of the Nigerian military.
The letter read: “Real properties finally forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria and allocated to some agencies for official use in line with the Presidential approval are: Voice of Nigeria, National Directorate of Employment, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, North East Development Commission and Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate.
“Properties under interim forfeiture order are rented by the following government agencies: Nigerian Army, Federal Ministry of Finance, Fiscal Responsibility Commission, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.
“Other agencies of government that have approached the commission to rent properties under interim forfeiture order include: National Human Rights Commission and National Council for Arts and culture.”
Magu said the commission also temporarily handed over property in Lagos to the Lagos State Government for use as isolation centres for COVID-19 patients.
The letter was, however, rejected by the presidential panel, the Punch reports.
According to the newspaper, a source close to the panel said there was no need for the letter, adding that Wahab Shittu, Magu’s lawyer, was informed that his client will be called if there was a need for clarification.
“An attempt to submit the letter to the secretary of the panel on Monday failed. Magu’s team was informed that the panel does not entertain letters but it is purely an investigative one. If there is a need for clarification, Magu would be invited,” the source said.