•Challenges EFCC to produce 60 vessels handed over to the agency
The former Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin (rtd), raised alarm over threat to his life following sustained harassment by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Jibrin in a strongly worded letter sighted by Global Sentinel on Monday, which was personally signed by him to the Acting Chairman of the EFCC Ibrahim, also wants to know why his properties have been raided by the anti-graft agency for up to eight different times without any search warrant.
The letter was duly copied to the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, the Senate President Senator Bukola Saraki, the Speaker of the House of Representative Hon Yakubu Dogara, the Kogi State Governor, the Honourable Minister of Defence, the National Security Adviser, the Chief of Defence Staff, the Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Naval Staff, the Chief of the Air Staff, the Inspector General of Police, the Director General; Department of State Services and the Chief of Defence Intelligence.
He alleged plans by agents of the anti-graft commission to plant incriminating evidence in some of his properties
The former Naval Chief, in the letter alerted that unknown elements have been observed loitering around the premises of the former Naval Chief states clearly that his life is at stake; his dignity and also his integrity are also at stake.
Part of the letter read: “I regret to state that my life has been under threat by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) since my retirement from active service of the Nigerian Navy on the 14 July 2015. This is sequel to the fact that some cabals are hiding under the executive orders of Mr. President to settle scores against me on the perceived injustice allegedly meted on them by the Nigerian Navy during my tenure as the Chief of the Naval Staff.
“I decided to put my thought in writing because of information made available to me from very reliable sources that plans have been concluded to plant incriminating evidence against me by operatives of the EFCC. This revelation has pushed me to the wall to speak out as I have observed that silence may not be golden after all in the face of some suspicious activities going around my properties by unknown elements. My life is at stake, my dignity is at stake, my integrity is at stake and my name is at stake. I respect the rule of law and detest injustice. Fairly minded officers and men of the Nigerian Navy and those in other Services who worked closely with me could attest to this assertion.”
Jibrin further claimed that the EFCC has been hijacked by a cabal, many of which are out on a vendetta mission especially considering the fact that the Navy during his watched had made life unbearable and difficult for them as it put a stop to efforts aimed at sabotaging the Nation’s economy through illegal oil bunkering
To this end, challenged the anti-graft agency to explain the location of over 60 vessels arrested during his watch which were handed over to the agency but none of those arrested have been prosecuted till date with the whereabouts of the suspects unknown
The former CNS placed some demands from the EFCC including the need to stop constant harassment and destruction of his properties under the guise of some undisclosed investigations.
He also wants the anti-graft agency to tell Nigerians if any petition has been written against him and gives the anti-graft agencies between 18th to 20th of May 2017 to publicly search his residence in the presence of other security agencies to publicly end the question of whether he is in possession of any incriminating evidence or he is guilty as suspected.
Below is the full letter written to the Acting EFCC Chairman:
Mr. Ibrahim Magu
The Acting Chairman,
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
5, Fomella Street, Off Ademola Adetokunbo Crescent,
May 19, 2017
THREAT TO MY LIFE, INCESSANT/INDISCRIMATE HARASSMENT AND PLANS TO PLANT INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE AGAINST ME BY OPERATIVES OF THE ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION
1. I regret to state that my life has been under threat by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) since my retirement from active service of the Nigerian Navy on the 14 July 2015. This is sequel to the fact that some cabals are hiding under the executive orders of Mr. President to settle scores against me on the perceived injustice allegedly meted on them by the Nigerian Navy during my tenure as the Chief of the Naval Staff. I decided to put my thought in writing because of information made available to me from very reliable sources that plans have been concluded to plant incriminating evidence against me by operatives of the EFCC. This revelation has pushed me to the wall to speak out as I have observed that silence may not be golden after all in the face of some suspicious activities going around my properties by unknown elements. My life is at stake, my dignity is at stake, my integrity is at stake and my name is at stake. I respect the rule of law and detest injustice. Fairly minded officers and men of the Nigerian Navy and those in other Services who worked closely with me could attest to this assertion.
2. Let me hastily state that the kernel of my letter to you is to draw your attention to the fact that I now have it on good authority that your organisation is been used by a cabal who are very uncomfortable with my freedom and threatened by my unblemished record as the former Chief of Naval Staff who fought them to a standstill in their illegal bunkering and oil theft. They have found your Commission as the right tool to bring me down at all cost. Of course, your organisation working in tandem with the directives issued by these cabals who have concluded plans to plant incriminating materials, including foreign currencies, arms and ammunition, in any or some of my premises/properties and then come up with a trump up charge of financial crime or treasonable felony or illegal possession of weapons/firearms against me. This latest machination is to satisfy the cabal that the Commission has fulfilled its bidding as well as justify all the raids which failed to produce any expected result.
3. It is imperative to state at this juncture that no one has accused me of corruption or at least I am not aware of any written petition against me alleging any wrongdoing in my capacity as the former Chief of Naval Staff. I believe that EFCC has a procedure for investigating allegations against any individual which is mostly predicated on a written petition which leads to investigation culminating into invitation of the alleged offender or arrest as the case may be. Subsequently, such offender is charged before a court of competent jurisdiction. Ironically, EFCC has never disclosed to me if there is any petition against me or the subject matter of their investigation against me that necessitates the surprise unending searches on my properties. It is worth noting that EFCC has conducted searches on me in 8 locations without discovering incriminating evidence bordering on financial crimes. In most cases, my assets were destroyed in my absence without a single apology from the Commission or explanation as to why my properties were raided. In all Eight (8) instances, no search warrants were produced before these raids were conducted neither was I notified. Please find enclosed photographs of the series of raids on my premises and the destructions therein. When will the everlasting investigation, which commenced in July 2015, come to an end for me to have my peace in life after active service?
4. Suffice it to quickly note that under my watch as Chief of Naval Staff, I arrested over 60 vessels carrying out oil theft and illegal bunkering between January 2014 to July 2015, while discharging my constitutional responsibilities and handed over same and their owners to EFCC for prosecution. However, to my utter consternation, many of these suspects have been released and without prosecution except for 2 being prosecuted as at February 2017. Could it be that the cabals which the EFCC under your watch is acting their scripts against me are also beneficiaries of the proceeds of the oil theft and illegal bunkering which I stopped. Perhaps in your famed words which you have repeatedly stated in different fora “corruption is fighting back” and this time, it is coming after me. Please quote me any time any day; I never collected a Kobo bribe from oil thieves or illegal bunkers all through my service. I can also beat my chest and state that I never collected a Kobo bribe from any navy contractor either when I was Chief of Logistics (COL) or Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS). Furthermore, I was never involved in any maritime crime including oil theft and illegal bunkering. I find it extremely difficult to decipher exactly what operatives of the EFCC must be looking for. I must state that EFCC has never told me that I either took or accepted any bribe from the Oil thieves or contractors respectively.
5. In view of the aforementioned, permit me to ask you, Mr. Acting Chairman; where did I go wrong to deserve the current intimidation and harassment and the heightened plan to plant incriminating evidence against me by the operatives of the EFCC and the cabal. Why would the EFCC decide to use the media to fight me in the face of the glaring proofs that I discharged my duties as Chief of Naval Staff with utmost integrity and to the best of my ability.
6. As the Acting Chairman, you are please requested to consider the following prayers/demands:
a. Put a stop to this threat to my life and consistent harassment and destruction of my properties under the guise of some undisclosed investigations.
b. Come out clearly on the allegations against me and officially inform me of any petition against me in which I am being investigated to enable me defend myself.
c. Put a stop to any plans to plant incriminating evidence in any of my premises aimed at incarcerating and putting me out of circulation.
d. That you convey acceptance of an open invitation from me to the Commission that you personally lead a team to conduct a search on all my properties between 18, 19 and 20 May 2017 in the presence of the Police, DSS and the Press. Kindly refer to the list of my premises in your possession.
e. That you stop the media war being waged against me wherein you have consistently labeled me a common criminal which you know I am not.
f. That you provide Nigerians with full details of all the vessels handed over to you for investigation and prosecution and the status of each of them, including evacuation of the products therein.
7. Finally, let me remind you that the Commission has already charged me to Court over a Navy Guest House which was a safe house bought by the Navy under my watch which I am currently standing trial and defending myself. Before the determination of that suit, I will like to have my peace in retirement hence the above demands. Contrary to your perception, not all Nigerians are corrupt. I have never been involved in politics, hence one wonders whose interest my present predicament is been served. I have taken the liberty to copy the Acting President, His Excellency, Professor Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), Senate President, Speaker House of Representative, Kogi State Governor, Honourable Minister of Defence, the Chief of Defence Staff, Service Chiefs, other Security Agencies and NBA to be aware of my ordeal and call your Agency to order.
Former Chief of the Naval Staff
1. His Excellency, the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
2. Senate President.
3. Speaker House of Representative.
4. Kogi State Governor.
5. Honourable Minister of Defence.
6. The National Security Adviser.
7. The Chief of Defence Staff.
8. The Chief of Army Staff.
9. The Chief of Naval Staff.
10. The Chief of the Air Staff.
11. The Inspector General of Police
12. The Director General, Department of State Security.
13. The Chief of Defence Intelligence.