Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Lagos headquarter of money laundering in Nigeria, says anti-graft boss Magu

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THE Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, on Tuesday, described Rivers and Lagos States as the headquarters of money laundering in Nigeria.

Magu said that though Lagos State was the first in terms of money laundering, the unenviable position was followed by Rivers.

The acting EFCC chairman, who made these remarks while speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt, pointed out that the rate of money laundering in Port Harcourt was high as a result of the oil business going on in the city.

He said, “I think Rivers State is the next to Lagos in terms of crime. This (Rivers) is the headquarters of money laundering because there is a lot of oil money here.

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“I think you can rate Port Harcourt the second to maybe Lagos when you talk of people playing with sinking, diving, hiding, maybe because of the large space of oil deals.”

Maintaining that the judgement halting the EFCC from probing Rivers State governors will not stand, Magu explained that the court order obtained by the former governor of the state, Dr. Peter Odili, retraining the anti-graft agency from investigating government officials in the state had been overtaken by event.

He added that the commission would ensure that no stone was left unturned in exposing all criminal activities in Nigeria.

Magu pointed out that unfolding events in the past had shown that not even the court would stop the EFCC from performing its function of investigating and prosecuting those alleged to be involved in financial crimes.

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He stated, “Nothing is going to stop us; even the issue of the court order allegedly obtained by Dr Peter Odili and co to stop the EFCC from investigation and prosecution has been overtaken by event.

“I am telling you that, that judgement cannot stand; it will only take some time. it cannot hold and we are going to conclude the investigation. There are so many investigations we are doing.

“We will take it before the court; let the court refuse to prosecute their case. I am sure the matter has suffered for about 13 years now. we are going to test it. The matter is in the Supreme Court, we will follow it up.

“That decision that is pending in the Supreme Court does not actually… cannot hold water again. There are subsequent judgements that have discarded it. Clearly, there are other judgements that came up and said nobody, not even the judge, not even the judiciary, not even the court can stop us from investigating and prosecuting.”

He, however, recalled that the anti-graft agency had been able to secure the conviction of three former governors, adding that 1,245 convictions were recorded in 2019.

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