Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says the funds allegedly looted by Diezani Alison-Madueke, a former minister of petroleum, surpasses that of Sani Abacha, late military head of state.
Magu said the anti-graft agency has only been able to recover “not more than 15 per cent”, saying it will take some time to get back most of the alleged loot.
The EFCC acting chairman said the agency was already making moves to facilitate the extradition of the former minister.
“We are working on the process of Diezani’s extradition. But we have to allow them (the UK government) because we are collaborating,” he told PUNCH.
“There is the National Crime Agency and the Crown Prosecution Service in London, and our colleagues, the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in America. We had cause to meet in London. I was there myself for about a week. We are working not only on the Diezani case; but the Diezani case has become a test case.
“It is even more notorious than the so-called Abacha loot because we have not seen anything yet. I’m sure what we have seen is not more than may be 15 per cent. I think it is going to be a long time. That is why sometimes I think we should appeal to the looters to return the loot. Come and tell the government, ‘This is what I have stolen.’ Since you have voluntarily complied with the instruction to bring back the loot, then the government will take a decision. I think it is the best way to go about it, otherwise, the monies would be wasted.
“Diezani has a lot of people who are well connected, like (Jide) Omokore who are international businessmen. They have private aircraft and you can’t see any of them in Nigeria. They went and kept them in Ghana, some of them.”
Magu added that the EFCC is in collaboration with “almost all law enforcement agencies in the world” to recover loot stashed abroad by Nigerians.
A list of high-profile persons being probed by the EFCC recently made its way to the public sphere.
Some of those on the list include former ministers, ex-governors, justices and high-ranking officials of the Goodluck Jonathan administration.