Embattled Former Customs chief, Abdullahi Inde Dikko which is being held by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over alleged looting of over N42 billion has allegedly asked the commission to settle on plea bargain to enable him refund the loot.
A highly placed source at the commission yesterday told Nigerian Pilot that the embattled ex- customs boss gave the proposal through his legal team in the course of interrogation, but the acting chairman of the commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu has rejected the request insisting that plea bargain is not known to law. He was quizzed over an alleged N42billion fraud. Besides, the EFCC has traced how about N2.6billion was withdrawn from Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, coffers and remitted into the accounts of some companies floated by a former Assistant Comptroller General who served under Dikko. Dikko was on Thursday grilled on the sources of funds with which he allegedly acquired a N2 billion mansion at 1, Audu Ogbe Street, Jabi, Abuja. According to the source, Dikko is willing to remit the alleged looted funds to the coffers of the federal government in order not to be arraigned in court. The anti-graft agency had been on Dikko’s trail since January 8 when its operatives stormed his home.
But Dikko was said to have travelled out of the country. The EFCC launched a discreet manhunt for him, seeking help from some agencies, including the INTERPOL. Dikko turned himself in to the EFCC eventually and he is still in the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,EFCC, Wuse 2 Abuja. He arrived at the EFCC’s Abuja headquarters at about 10am. His interrogation lasted about eight hours and to continue during the weekend.
The source in EFCC further said: “The former Customs boss is at the moment being quizzed over two key allegations bordering on criminal conspiracy, diversion of public funds, theft, abuse of office and living above legitimate means.
“He is being grilled over the source of the funds with which he acquired the palatial mansion valued at over N2billion located at 1, Audu Ogbe Street, Jabi Abuja.
“There is also an allegation that he diverted over N40billion from Customs coffers. The funds were allegedly drawn from proceeds of the 7% cost of collection and 1% comprehensive import supervision scheme.
“There are lots of questions that he has to answer. Discreet investigation has been going on for months and this is the opportunity for him to clear the air on the allegation and other evidence that have emerged in the course of investigation.” Already the EFCC has started seizure of some landed properties traced to him in Abuja. The embattled former Customs boss is telling the operatives of EFCC how Dikko’s Jabi mansion was funded largely through kickback from Customs contractors; the N100million spent to buy the land on which the mansion sits was provided by a Customs contractor, Ditto for the first tranche of N650million used in the construction of the gigantic building; and that the funds were allegedly paid to Dikko’s personal lawyer by the contractors. The Lawyer transferred the funds to the engineer handling the construction.
Both the lawyer and the engineer allegedly admitted their roles, claiming that they acted on the instruction of the former CG.
The EFCC source further told Nigerian Pilot Saturday apart from this first phase of interrogation, the operatives of the commission will be interacting with the embattled former CG of customs on revenue derived during his tenure, on how a whooping sum of N1trillion got missing. Also, the commission will in the second phase of interrogation grill Dikko on a contract he allegedly awarded in the building of customs quarters in Kuje at a highly inflated rate to one of his cronies amounting to N14billion public funds without passing through the public procurement act.

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