A day after acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu, claimed that the sum of N1.3 trillion was stolen under the watch of former President Goodluck Jonathan, the camp of the former leader has reacted to the allegation.
In a rebuttal, Reno Omokri, a former aide of Jonathan advised Buhari’s government to instead concentrate on the damning report on corruption fight in the country by the United States.
The statement by Reno Omokri reads: “The claim of a stolen N1.3 trillion public fund which Magu reiterated on Monday is not new, for the discerning members of the public, the claim by Magu is rehash of false allegations that started its ill-fated journey in 2016.
“In January 2016, Muhammadu Buhari’s prophetically named Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai (Lie) Mohammed, claimed at a world press conference in Abuja, to mark the beginning of the administration’s war against corruption, that 55 well-placed Nigerians stole a whopping N1.34 trillion between 2006 and 2013, a period covering the Presidencies of Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan.
“Nine months later, specifically in October 2016, the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay repeated the allegation with only a slight alteration, by alleging that about N1.4 trillion was stolen by top government officials and businessmen under the last three administrations.
“It will be recalled that in July 2015, Adams Oshiomhole, the current chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), had alleged that a former government minister in Nigeria stole $6bn (about N2.1 trillion). Oshiomhole said “US officials informed President Muhammadu Buhari of the alleged theft during his visit to Washington the previous month.”
“However, the U.S. State Department denied the story, asking Oshiomhole, to name the official and not drag United States into Nigeria domestic politics. The truth is that Ibrahim Magu lied and this is not the first, or second time he has lied to the public”.
Magu who gave the figure during his keynote address at the 2019 first batch conversion training programme organised by the Bureau of Public Procurement, said the money was stolen between 2011 and 2015.
He also added that the money was stolen by 32 entities, including private individuals and organisations during Jonathan’s administration.