The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, says he would have loved to arrest a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, but she is being protected by foreign law enforcement agencies.
Magu said this during a media chat in Abuja on Wednesday.
The EFCC boss was reacting to a question on whether the EFCC would arrest Diezani as ordered by a Federal Capital Territory High Court in Apo.
He said, “I need less than 72 hours to produce Diezani but how can I get her? She is being protected by other law enforcement agencies outside this country. This is our predicament. If she were here, I would have arrested her.”
When asked to clarify his statement, he said, “The barrier is that other law enforcement agencies are involved in the matter. You know she is in the UK and we are making preparations to get her. We have already gone to court and this was part of the process of extradition; that is the court should declare that a warrant of arrest be issued against her and that we produce her within 72 hours.”
Magu said had Diezani been in Nigeria, he would have arrested the former oil minister in less than an hour.
The EFCC boss said all law enforcement agencies in the world had been informed of Diezani’s status as a person of interest in Nigeria.
“Even when the Italians visited us recently, they were asking questions about her,” he said.
Magu said about 60 per cent of looted funds were still in Nigeria, adding that the commission could only succeed through the cooperation of Nigerians.
He further stated that about 80 per cent of stolen Nigerian wealth was still hanging.
The EFCC boss added, “More than 80 per cent of the loot outside the country is still hanging. Ask them why it is so difficult to repatriate these funds when it has been established that this money came from Nigeria and you know that this person does not own this money.
“There is no justification. It is not a small amount of money. We have over $300m hanging in the Jersey Island, a UK foreign territory.”
Magu said the EFCC would work closely with the Independent National Electoral Commission to ensure that taxpayers’ money is not used for elections.