Kemi Adeosun Finance minister writes Magu, faults figures of recovered loot provided by EFCC

Adeosun said her ministry was only able to account for N91.3 billion recovered loot by the EFCC since May 2015.

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Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun

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Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has faulted the figures of recovered loot announced by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the media, saying it contradicts what her ministry accounted for.

The EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu has often given different figures of cash and assets recovered, mostly from public officials, to prove his agency's unprecedented success in the fight against corruption.

In November 2017, Magu had claimed that the agency recovered about N739 billion within two years and in February 2018 he said as much as N500 billion was recovered in 2017 alone.

But in a letter dated February 9 and addressed to Magu, Adeosun asked for an explanation on why the figures computed by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation did not correspond with the EFCC boss' claims about recovered loot in the media.

She said her ministry was only able to account for N91.3 billion recovered loot by the EFCC since May 2015.

In the letter, Adeosun said the total amount calculated by the Office of the Accountant-General, which is a department under the ministry of finance, is N91,383,370,501.73.

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According to an updated table of the recoveries attached to the letter, the amount included assets under final and interim forfeitures and funds recovered in foreign currencies.

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The letter, which was first made on March 20 by TheDetail, an online publication, reads:

"This is to notify you of the records of cash asset recoveries in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from May 2015 date based on information available to the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (attached).

"It has, however, come to the attention of the Ministry of Finance, the use of recovery figures in news media reports by the EFCC that do not reconcile with the records of the ministry. You are therefore requested to clarify where these cash recoveries have been deposited and provide accompanying evidence."

EFCC responds

Reacting to Adeosun's letter on Monday, March 26, the EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren said it was "nothing unusual".

"There is nothing unusual about anyone asking for clarification on any matter least of all assets recovery and management which are not the simplest aspects of investigation," Uwujaren told Premium Times.

"The Commission is not adverse to clarifying any issue(s) that will assist better understanding of the portfolio of assets recovered by the Commission. Indeed, it is fully engaged with other vehicles within the administration, the Presidential Audit Committee on Recovered Assets and Presidential Committee on Asset Recovery, dedicated to addressing all issues pertaining to recovered assets", he added.

According to the online publication, the agency's spokesman, however, did not respond to the question about whether Magu was standing by his public statements that as much as N739 billion had been recovered within two years.

Adeosun had also on Sunday played down the debate her letter generated, saying it was routine action taken to safeguard controls of recovered funds

She claimed that Magu had replied the letter and that reconciliation of figures is ongoing.

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