Banks creating fertile ground for corruption, says Magu

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has said the agency is investigating a sum of $15,591,700, which Patience, wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, claimed belongs to her.


Magu said this in Lagos on Tuesday while fielding questions from journalists after an interactive session with the commission’s external lawyers and civil society organisations.

The EFCC chairman added that some banks in the country which allegedly helped in concealing stolen money in the country would soon face trial by the commission.

“We are on it (Patience’s $15,591,700). You see, we work for the long-term. We must complete our preliminary investigations before we come out. We will not spare anybody. We cannot protect anyone from answering to the people.

“Determination is key. I believe we will go a long way. Our tomorrow is better than our today.”

Magu said banks and their officials who helped in stealing public funds would soon face trial, adding that it was unfortunate that some banks created an enabling environment for looting.

“The banking sector is creating a fertile ground for corruption. It was as if the banks told the looters, go and steal and I will hide it for you. This must stop. We will zoom in on the banks. We need to stop them from creating an enabling environment for corruption to thrive,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Labour Congress has asked the wife of the former President, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, to explain how she made the $31 million found in some accounts recently frozen by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The President of the NLC, Mr. Ayuba Wabba, told journalists on the sideline of ‘NLC National Youth Conference’ in Abuja, on Tuesday that the former First Lady had a responsibility to prove to Nigerians that the money in question was legitimately earned.

Wabba also asked Mrs. Jonathan to tell Nigerians the kind of business she had been doing to make such a huge amount of money.

The NLC President said the former First Lady would have been made to forfeit the money to the government in other countries.

He said it had always been the position of the NLC that all those who stole public funds should be duly investigated and prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others.

He urged the government to extend the fight against corruption to states and local government areas in the country.

He added, “We have always said it that the NLC is the first organisation that openly supported the anti-graft war. We said recover, investigate and prosecute so that it could serve as a deterrent.

“Our position has been clear on the issue of the frozen $31m. In this respect, the onus of proof is on the ex-First Lady. First, she must inform all of us the sources of the money. She must explain what business she did to accumulate such wealth.”