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Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, FIRS and other agencies benefited from forfeited assets; Magu reveals

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The suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu has revealed that some of the forfeited assets recovered by the anti-graft agency were auctioned to ministries and government agencies.

Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), had accused the EFCC under Magu of failing to properly account for recovered loot and assets.

The AGF alleged that Magu sold some of the recovered assets to his associates.

But in a letter addressed to the Ayo Salami-led presidential panel probing the allegations, Magu explained how some of these assets were sold off.

Magu listed the ministry of humanitarian affairs and disaster management, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) as a part of agencies that benefited from recovered vehicles through special auction with presidential approval.

He said about 450 forfeited vehicles, in Lagos and Abuja and yet to be sold, have presidential approval to be disposed off.

He said some of these agencies have not paid for the vehicles but that there was an arrangement that their values will be deducted from the ministries’ allocation.

“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,” he said.

“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 said some permanently forfeited properties were allocated to agencies including the Voice of Nigeria, National Directorate of Employment while some properties under interim forfeiture were rented out to the Nigerian army and the federal ministry of finance.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

He also said the commission temporarily handed over some properties in Lagos to the state government for use as isolation centres for COVID-19 patients.

Magu, who was arrested on July 6 and whisked before the presidential panel, was detained for 10 days at the force criminal investigation department, Abuja.

After regaining freedom, Magu described the allegations against him as “nonsense”.“They are nonsense. They are mere trump up allegations to tarnish my image and that of the EFCC. I did not steal or divert or convert funds to private use. I read the allegations and I was shocked,” he had said.

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