Four years after being named as acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the record of the number of corrupt Nigerians convicted by the commission under him and the value of assets recovered from the convicts has emerged.
Top Nigerians lawyers conversant with the intricacies of prosecution and recovery of looted public assets, have hailed Magu for his uncompromising stance on corruption and the fearless approach in the discharge of what they describe as a ‘tough job’.
Documents obtained from the Commission on Sunday indicate that the commission has successfully prosecuted and convicted no fewer than 1,636 persons and recovered hundreds of billions of Naira in various currencies.
The breakdown of the figures shows that the commission recorded the highest number of conviction in 2019 with 882 as at October 11, followed by 314 in 2018, 195 in 2016, 190 in 2017 and 103 in 2015.
Similarly, the commission recorded the highest number of convicts in Lagos with 187, followed by Port Harcourt with 153, while Ibadan and Abuja followed with 121 and 103 respectively.
Enugu, Gombe, Benin and Uyo zones followed with 67, 65, 54 and 50 convictions.
The zone with the least conviction is Sokoto with just one, followed by Makurdi with two, Maiduguri, 15, Kano, 16, while Ilorin and Kaduna tie at 24.
The anti-graft agency also recovered cash worth N939.51 between 2015 and 2019.
In 2018 alone, the Commission recovered various amounts in different currencies. These include: N216.46billion, $67.30million, £873,278.09, €298,055, R391,838 and D10,135.
Between January and September 2019, the commission recovered N63.73billion, $14.04million, £4.65million, €53,325, Y2,800 Yen, 294,950 Riyald, 15,200 CAD and 36,000 CFA.
Reflecting on Magu’s performance, senior Nigerians lawyers rated his work high and asked him to remain fearless and uncompromised as he has been doing so as to checkmate corruption in the country and save money for development. He, however, called on the Senate to confirm him as substantive chairman of the agency in order to perform his work with more confidence.
Another lawyer, Mallam Yussuf Alli, a SAN, said: “Going by the statistics of the number of cases the EFCC has prosecuted in the last four years and the humongous amounts recovered in the same period, it can truly be said that the organisation is pulling its weight.
“Our country needs more patriots to join the effort to clean our country of its current status as one of the most corrupt nations in the world. Men and women of goodwill should join hands with the EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies to help rid our country of carpetbaggers,” Alli said.
Also speaking on the development, Mr. Charles Candide-Johnson, another SAN, pointed out that Magu has dramatically increased credibility and necessary visibility of public prosecution in Nigeria.
He said: “Law must be largely self enforced and knowledge of successful prosecutions is what teaches people to comply voluntarily. This is a sterling service to our country.”
A constitutional lawyer, Daniel Bwala, stated that Magu had by his performance proved to be the right kind of persons for the right kind of job and should be encouraged by all Nigerians to do more in the fight against graft, which is retarding Nigeria’s progress.