18 senators under EFCC investigation for alleged N367.5b fraud
- A fact-sheet from the EFCC indicates that 11 senators from the north are under probe for alleged fraud
- The EFCC has charged seven other senators from the south to court for alleged financial irregularities
- A source from the anti-graft agency says the 11 senators not yet on trial will be prosecuted at the appropriate time
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating 18 senators for alleged fraud amounting to the tune of N367.5b.
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Among the lawmakers being investigated, seven are currently on trial while some of the cases date back to 10 years, the Nation reports.
The cases against the members of the upper chamber are based a variety of alleged fraud ranging from money laundering, misappropriation, unexecuted contracts, diversion of public funds to campaigns, and others to the tune of N367.5billion.
Legit.ng learnt that a fact-sheet from the anti-graft agency on Monday, July 17, indicates that 11 of the senators under investigation are from the north while others are from the south.
According to the fact-sheet, the cases against the lawmakers include:
One or two senators (outside the list) are under investigation for their alleged involvement in the N19billion and $86million London-Paris Club refund in which seven governors have been implicated.
An alleged N47billion embezzlement against a former governor now serving in the Senate, a senator is standing trial for alleged mismanagement of N1.2billion ecological funds; another allegedly diverted to other uses N1billion meant for the repair of a collapsed dam.
The cases also include laundering of N40billion by a senator from the North-East; diversion of N3billion to campaign by a North-West senator; 149-count charge of mismanagement of N15billion by a senator from the north-central and the arraignment of a north-west senator for allegedly N52billion fraud.
There are N9billion case involving a senator from the South-East; N2.1billion contract fraud by a member of the upper chamber from the south-south; N10.2billion fraud traced to a senator from the north-west and N2billion diverted funds credited to a senator from the north-central.
Two aides of a senator, who is being probed for alleged illegal deduction of N3.5billion from the London-Paris Club refund have been quizzed.
Three new senators from the North-Central, South-East and South-West have been under investigation for some infractions, including alleged stamp duty collection fraud.
Confirming the cases against the senators, an EFCC source who spoke on condition of anonymity said while seven of the lawmakers are on trial, 11 others will be prosecuted at the appropriate time.
“The case files of all these 18 senators are already with us. Seven of them are already on trial.
“But, certainly, 11 others will be prosecuted at the appropriate time. It may interest you that some agencies in a few international jurisdictions are interested in some of the cases against some of these senators.
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“It might also interest you that some of these cases predated the appointment of the present Acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu. But since continuity is a cardinal principle of the EFCC, Magu has decided to ensure that the matters in court are pursued to logical conclusion. There is also no waiver for all cases undergoing investigation," the source said.
The source however clarified that Magu had no personal problem with any senator as he inherited most of these cases.
In a related development, it was learnt that the senators under probe are lobbying for the halt of either their investigation or prosecution by the EFCC as part of the conditions for supporting Magu.
Meanwhile, a former governor of Jigawa state, Saminu Turaki, has asked an FCT High Court to commit Ibrahim Magu, the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for contempt of court.
Turaki urged the court to take the action against Magu for reportedly refusing to release him on bail.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the application was filed before Justice Yusuf Halilu, who is the vacation judge.
Legit.ng learnt that the application was filed on Turaki’s behalf by Regina Okotie-Eboh of Rickey Tarfa Chambers and the former governor is praying the court to jail Magu for disobeying its order.
In the video below, The EFCC organised a march tagged ‘walk against corruption’ in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.