JUST IN: EFCC Acting Chairman, Magu, Explodes In Anger, As He Faces Nationwide Probe Over Unaccounted Tens Of Billions Of Naira

By Post Nigeria May 10, 2018 07:54

JUST IN: EFCC Acting Chairman, Magu, Explodes In Anger, As He Faces Nationwide Probe Over Unaccounted Tens Of Billions Of Naira

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has defended the Commission’s N24 billion new office, brushing aside criticisms about the huge cost, and claiming that it is a modest amount for a building that should cost N100 billion.

A visibly angry Magu, on Wednesday, took strong exception to the scrutiny that followed the EFCC’s completion of its new headquarters, in Abuja.

The 10-floor building is about 95 percent completed, and is expected to serve as the operating base for the anti-graft body.

This came as anti-corruption campaigners and other citizens, have criticised the huge cost of the building, especially coming at a time when the Agency itself is complaining of poor funding that hampers its basic operations.

“You are not being fair”, Magu said, when asked to respond to the controversies surrounding the N24 billion.

“If you go and bring any valuer, they will value it for not less than N100 billion.”

He explained further, the cumbersome and expensive procurement process that culminated in the successful execution of the new head office of the EFCC, located at about 12 kilometres south-west of Abuja’s Central Business District.

“That shows prudence, that shows transparency”, Magu added.

The new office includes a mid-size parking facility, three detached buildings, including a clinic, a generator house, and a 33KV step-down transformer station.

However, Martin Obono, an Abuja-based Anti-Corruption Campaigner, stressed that the EFCC has no justification for spending N24 billion on a single office, at the expense of not only the taxpayers, but also some of its staff.

“It is not feasible that N24 billion would have been spent on that building”, Mr. Obono said.

“It is too expensive for a so-called anti-corruption Agency.”

Obono maintained that the EFCC could build a befitting office for its operations in each of the 36 States, at the price of N24 billion, especially since hundreds of staff members operating away from the head office in Abuja, would still be putting up with offices that are not conducive.

“Over the past few months, we have heard the EFCC raise alarm about how poor funding is hindering its operations”, Obono said.

“So why should the same Agency spend such a humongous amount on an office complex that would only occupy a few people.

“Clearly, this building cannot return the N24 billion value Nigerians paid for it. We cannot use corruption to fight corruption”, Obomo insisted.

He demanded that the EFCC publishes its books in relations to the building, especially procurement dossiers.

  • “Mr. Magu must publish the full details of how the money was spent, and not think Nigerians are foolish, or that they are not paying attention to the suspicious activities going on in an Agency that should be curbing financial crimes”, the Activist added.

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