The suspended chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu has reacted to the report that some operatives of under his leadership used a lawyer to demand bribery of N75m to be paid into different accounts.
Magu speaking via his lawyer Wahab Shittu on Thursday, August 20, 2020, dismissed an allegation that EFCC operatives under Magu’s supervision demanded N75 million from a businessman, Donald Wokoma.
Naija News reported that , Wokoma presented an audiotape before the retired Justice Ayo Salami-led presidential panel on Tuesday, August 18, detailing how EFCC officers tried to extort him after freezing his company’s bank account.
The businessman tendered an affidavit to support his claim in a petition he wrote to the office of Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, for redress over the alleged extortion on August 6.
A copy of court affidavit showed how Mr Wokoma accused Magu and his ‘boys’ of unlawfully freezing his company’s account ”Damijay Integrated Services Ltd” without a court order in 2018.
According to the affidavit filed before the FCT High Court dated August 10, Wokoma said despite securing a valid injunction through his former lawyer, Victor Giwa, from the same court on November 21, 2018, the EFCC did not lift the restriction.
He further said EFCC officials handling the case of his company asked him in May 2020 to sign three blank cheques with Diamond bank of N75 million at N25 million each out of the N250 million total sum in the company’s frozen account as a condition before unfreezing it.
But reacting to the allegation, Magu’s lead counsel Shittu debunked the claim, saying the allegation against the EFCC boss and his boys was clearly fabricated.
“The N75 million allegedly linked to Mr Magu and his boys belonged to a third party lawyer, Fatima Hassan, who was employed by Mr Giwa to help retrieve Mr Wakoma’s frozen money.
“Mr Giwa is a counsel to Donald Wakoma whose account was blocked. Mr Giwa contacted Ms Hassan, another lawyer to help Mr Wokoma his client unblock the money that was frozen which she agreed. She agreed to get 30 percent of the N250 million with is N75 million.
“She then asked that Mr Wokoma’s team should issue a cheque to her as her fee upon the recovery that she was going to write to the ministry of justice to compel EFCC to unblock the account.
“The cheque they gave her was a Diamond bank account but she later requested that the cheque be converted into Irrevocable Standing Payment Order (ISPO) so that once she does the job, she would be paid.
“On her getting to the ministry of justice, she realised that there was an existing order from the high court that EFCC should unblock the account but when she realised that the EFCC had appealed the order so she couldn’t continue with the job and returned all the documents and cheque,” Mr Shittu added.