The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has raised the alarm over the illegal use of the name its chairman, Ibrahim Magu, by unidentified individuals to extort money from the public.
A statement from its Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, said it had come to the notice of the commission that some persons claiming to have Mr. Magu’s permission were asking people for payments to secure the release of suspects under investigation.
“Some unsuspecting members of the public have fallen victim of this scam and made huge payments to this syndicate,” Mr. Uwujaren said.
“The commission warns the public to be wary of the activities of these fraudulent individuals who have no relationship whatsoever with Mr. Magu and the EFCC.”
He said the EFCC chairman had not mandated anybody to collect money from individuals and or organisations on his behalf.
“I have not mandated anybody to collect money on my behalf from any person or organisation. It is not in my character to do so otherwise I will not be in this office. I am contented with what I am paid at the end of the month,” the EFCC spokesperson quoted Mr. Magu as saying.
He called on members of the public, especially relatives and friends of persons under investigation by the commission, to quickly report any person who approaches them with a proposal to collect bribe on Mr. Magu’s behalf for the release of their loved ones, to the commission.
“Anyone caught trying to tarnish my hard earned reputation and integrity must be prepared to face the music. I have accounts in three banks and, on no account should anybody make lodgements into any of my accounts without my knowledge,” Mr. Uwujaren quoted the EFCC boss to have said.
He noted that there had been an increase in the activities of the scammers who sent messages to members of the public across the country, conveying the commission’s purported readiness to “play ball,” after a reasonable settlement is arranged.
It said the commission was resolute to carry out its duties guided only by the fear of God, the overriding interest of Nigeria and the rule of law; without any resort to monetary rewards.
The commission therefore, advised the public to report calls from suspected scammers and forward the callers’ numbers to the EFCC via firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
The commission, he said could also be reached on the following hotlines: 09-9044571, 09-9044572, 09-9044573.