Nigeria: Anti-corruption chief accuses governors of fuelling insecurity to raise security votes

Ibrahim Magu.

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) acting chairman Mr Ibrahim Magu, on Wednesday, hit at state governors, saying that some of them deliberately fuelled insecurity in their states just to collect more money as security vote.

He noted that some of the governors “now covertly promote insecurity as justification to inflate their security vote.”

Magu also alleged that there was a link between corruption, banditry and terrorism.

He spoke in Abuja at the induction programme for returning and newly-elected state governors held at the Presidential Villa.

His allegations were contained in a paper, titled “Imperative of Fighting Corruption/Terrorism Financing in Nigeria,” which he presented during the programme.

Magu told the session that a debate on the legality of the security vote enjoyed by the governors was ongoing but he chose to refrain from joining the fray.

He said, “We have also seen evidence of theft of public resources by some state governors –  cashing in on the insecurity in their states.

“Insecurity has also offered the required oxygen for corruption to thrive as evident in the $2.1bn arms procurement scandal involving top military commanders both serving and retired.”

On corruption and insurgency, he argued, “Mass poverty in the region, due in part to corruption by the ruling elite, is largely to blame for the ease with which the Islamists are able to recruit fighters to sustain their aggression against the Nigerian state.”

He added, “As an investigator, I am shocked by the quantum of resources stolen from the Niger Delta Development Commission by those who run the intervention agency. It is so bad that even a mere personal assistant to a former Managing Director was charged with stealing over N3bn.”

He called on the governors to avoid stealing of public funds, saying, “Whether we like it or not, corruption and terrorism have become the twin evils, undermining our collective efforts to make Nigeria a truly great country.”

The EFCC boss also gave the figures of the recoveries made by the agency between 2017 and the 2018.

According to him, in 2017, the recoveries were N473.065bn, $98m, €7m and £294,000.

In 2018, the sum of N236.16bn was recovered, according to Magu.


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