The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission will soon begin the probe of the nation’s oil and gas industry as part of the current anti-corruption war of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
The roles of some principal officers in the former Goodluck Jonathan administration, including the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke; her counterpart in the Ministry of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; and an oil magnate, will come under intense scrutiny.
The Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, said this in Abuja when he appeared before the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Crimes to defend the commission’s 2016 budget proposals.
In his presentation before the lawmakers on Monday, Magu tactically avoided giving direct answers to questions on whether Alison-Madueke would come under the searchlight of the agency.
The anti-graft agency’s boss merely responded to such questions by saying, “The commission will soon move into the petroleum sector”, but called on the National Assembly to support the efforts of the agency by making more funds available for its operations.
Shortly after the presentation of the EFCC’s chairman, however, a member of the committee, Mr. Razak Atunwa, told reporters that Magu actually informed the committee that Alison-Madueke, Okonjo-Iweala and the oil baron would be investigated.
Atunwa was the lawmaker, who asked Magu the question on whether the commission would probe the oil sector.
Atunwa added, “I said the EFCC has recovered a lot of money for Nigeria and he (Magu) mentioned that in that regard, more sectors of the economy are likely to come under investigative activities.
“I said ‘will it include the petroleum sector’? He said, ‘yes’. And I said ‘would it include investigating the following people – Diezani Alison-Madueke, Okonjo-Iweala and a particular oil magnate’, and he said ‘yes’; those people are already under their investigative radar.”