Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has assured that the commission will do all within its powers to comply with a court decision, which ordered the agency to produce former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke, within 72 hours before the court to face corruption allegations.
Magu said the agency was willing and ready to carry out the order of the court even at a lesser time duration as directed by the court.
He however, lamented that the situation is beyond the security agencies as the former minister is currently outside the country and under the custody of another security agency.
Justice Valentine Ashi of a Federal Capital Territory High Court, sitting in Apo, Abuja, on Tuesday, ordered the EFCC, the Nigerian Police Force, the Department of State Services (DSS) and all other security agencies to apprehend the former minister within 72 hours.
Reacting to the order of the court yesterday during a media parley with journalists in Abuja, Magu said the commission has already commenced moves to bring Diezani back to the country to face trial on alleged corrupt activities when she was minister of the Federal Republic.
“We are going to comply with the court order. It is in our character to comply with court order. If we don’t comply with court order then we have reason to appeal”, he said, “I need less than 72 hours to produce Diezani, but how can I get her, she is been protected by other security agencies outside the country. This is our predicament. If she is here I would just get her within a minute. Our problem is that she is in another man’s country.”
Magu noted that the fight against corruption in the country was not easy and called for collaboration from all including media practitioners, stressing that everyone must all own the fight in the interest of the country.
He appealed to other security agencies to join hands with the commission to achieve desired results.
“I appeal to all the law enforcement agencies they should take ownership of this fight it is not for us alone. It is a national call and we have to do it in the interest of the nation”.
He also called on journalists to do their work professionally by asking relevant questions, disclosing that most of the country’s loot recovered was still being trapped abroad.
“There is need to put pressure on the other side, more than 80 per cent of the loot recovered outside the country are still hanging, as journalists you should find out why it is still hanging”, he said.
“We have over $320 million in oversea hanging in Jersey Island in the UK.”
He wondered why the funds were not released to Nigeria even after it has been established that the money came from Nigeria and that those that brought the money overseas were not the owners of the funds.