by Linda Ikeji
Ibrahim Magu, the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC was reportedly detained after he was quizzed for many hours by the presidential panel set up to investigate the allegations of corruption leveled against him and the agency by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
Few weeks ago, Malami wrote a letter to President Buhari asking for the sack of Magu whom he accused of corruption, insubordination among other crimes.
The Nation reports that the panel which is headed by Justice Isa Ayo Salami, a retired president of the Court of Appeal, drilled Magu for many hours before he was whisked away from the Presidential Villa where he was interrogated by the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) at about 10.15pm shortly after the investigative panel ended its sitting. His escort mobile policemen and security detail were stood down before he was taken into custody.
It was learnt that shortly after emerging from the sitting, Magu was led into a waiting white Hilux van marked 371D. Magu insisted on sitting in the open space at the back of the Hilux. The police team persuaded him to sit in the first cabin. The ding-doing over his relocation to the FCID lasted about 25 minutes. Magu was later allowed to go to the FCID in his official car.
“In the light of the ongoing investigation, it became expedient to detain Magu at the FCID. We do not want him to return to the office while he is being questioned, because he is likely to have another session with the Justice Salami panel.” a source told The Nation
It was also learnt last night that Magu might be suspended from office.
“By not allowing him to go back to his office was an indication that he might be suspended. It is obvious that the Presidency has concluded plans to look for a new candidate for the office,” the source added
At the FCID around 10.50pm, Magu rejected an offer to take him into an office to stay the night. He told the officers in charge to treat him like a suspect by putting him in a cell.
Sitting on a chair, he said:
“I won’t go and sleep in any office, I prefer to be in a cell. Kindly put me in a cell. That is what Allah wants for me. I can’t question God.”
On Monday July 6, Magu was intercepted on the road along Fomella Street while moving out of the Wuse II office Annex of the EFCC in Abuja. His invitation was then extended to him by a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) from the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID).
Some of the 22 allegations Magu is being investigated for include:
- Alleged discrepancies in the reconciliation records of the EFCC and the Federal Ministry of Finance on recovered funds
- Declaration of N539billion as recovered funds instead of N504b earlier claimed
- Insubordination to the office of the AGF by not seeking his approval on some decisions
- Not providing enough evidence for the extradition of ex-Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke
- Alleged late action on the investigation of Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) leading to legal dispute
- Not respecting court order to unfreeze a N7billion judgment in favour of a former Executive Director of First Bank
- Alleged delay in acting on two vessels seized by Nigerian Navy leading to the loss of crude
- Alleged favouring of some investigators called Magu’s Boys
- Reporting some judges to their presiding officers without deferring to the AGF
- Alleged sales of seized assets to cronies, associates and friends
- Alleged issuance of investigative activities to some media prejudicial to some cases.
A top source told the publication;
Magu and his officers had spent the last two weeks looking at all the allegations and compiled appropriate responses to them with documents. It is the compendium of evidence that he took to the panel to prove his innocence. Whatever you may accuse Magu of, it is not corruption or self-enrichment.
All those who have worked with Magu know him for his incorruptibility. He is also a hardliner who stepped on many toes. It is good that a panel is looking into the allegations. Take the case of sales of assets, Magu never sold any assets since he came into office. Instead, the seized properties were allocated for use by government agencies.
The P&ID matter preceded Magu in office because the judgment debt was during the administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan. Magu only investigated the criminal aspect instead of supporting the Settlement Agreement. And he gave the case all his strength to get the best for the nation. At the appropriate time, the details of what Magu did in office and what really transpired before the panel will be known to Nigerians for posterity.”