Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes on Monday was furious with Presidency and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over released of N1.8 billion from Service Wides Votes to anti-graft agency. The Committee accused Presidency of
“over-pampering” Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) with Service Wide Vote (SWV), and aslo abusing the process of granting the funds in favour of the agency. The Acting Chairman of the agency, Ibrahim Magu who amazed the lawmakers during budget defence when he informed that the agency had approached and secured additional N1.8 billion from Presidency from the Service Wide Vote.
Magu also informed the committee further that the agency also drew another N200m as special intervention from the Service Wide Vote left in the disposal of the Presidency. The Committee Chairman Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption, Chukwuka Utazi who was displeased with the development said the agency put the committee in dark by approaching Presidency for additional fund without informing the lawmakers.
The chairman accused both Presidency and EFCC of abusing the process of drawing monies from the Service Wide Vote. He “You have one year to plan your budget and half-way you run to the Presidency because you have unfettered access.
It is totally wrong and the committee would not tolerate it”.” Utazi said his committee would ensure that the matter is taken up and would make its displeasure known in writing to the Presidency. The Committee also demanded for the details of all recoveries of the agency up till date in which the anti-graft agency promised to present in a weeks time. EFCC presented a budget proposal of N17.2 billion for 2017, representing 8.5% decrease from that of 2016.
Meanwhile,The Senate on Monday expressed outrage at the phenomenal level of looting and stealing of government monies by both serving and past officials, charging the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to go after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to look for culprits and make them face the music.
The Senate also urged the EFCC to go after serving Directors, Permanent Secretaries, Procurement officials, and others within the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government noted for all antics of looting along with those who had retired, just to bring them to book.
It gave the charge to the Commission when its Chairman, Ibrahim Magu and other EFCC officials appeared for Budget defence before the Committee on Anti-Corruption headed by Senator Chukwuka Utazi. It said the monumental stealing of government monies by officials has been partly responsible to the current recession bedevilling the country. Senator Isa Misau who was the first to sensitise the EFCC against looting by government officials expressed surprise on how a former CBN Group Managing Director, Mr Andrew Yakubu could own up to stock-piling some foreign currencies; $9.7 million, £74, 000 and some huge amount of Naira in a private residence.