Tension increases as the interrogation of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, by the Justice Ayo Salami-led presidential panel entered the third day, with the Police high command insisting that it is against its service rule for him to be under investigation and still function in office.
The Police, has, therefore, directed the most senior police officer in the commission, Mr. Mohammed Umar, a deputy commissioner of police, and the commission’s director in charge of operations to stand in, pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation of Magu.
As Magu continued to tell the panel his own side of the story wednesday, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, denied an allegation by “Jackson Ude that he collected N4billion from the EFCC boss”.
A statement by his media aide, Mr. Laolu Akande, said the allegation was false and had been referred to the appropriate authority for investigation.
A reliable security source said last night that the Police high command had decided to subject Magu, a serving commissioner in the force, to its service rules, which does not allow an officer who is under investigation to function in the office.
“Magu is essentially a policeman and he is subject to police rules. So, the police are holding him and insisting that he must stand down,” the highly placed security source said.
Ibrahim Magu might be suffering from his perceived arrogance and stubbornness, and having failed to give respect to his seniors in the security services, which had brought him on a collision course with very senior officers of the force, including his superiors as well as the Department of State Security (DSS), which wrote the damaging report that did him in at the Eight Senate that refused to confirm his nomination as chairman of the commission.
“Magu certainly allowed his position to get into his head. Many senior officers of the force have issues with him and feel this is an opportunity to get even with him,” he said.
“Apart from his arrest and investigation of a former director-general of DSS, Mr. Ita Ekpenyong, Magu also clashed with the secret service over the acquisition of 14, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi Lagos, as the commission’s annex office, which used to be owned by the DSS,” the security source said.
The Street Journal had earlier reported that Ibrahim Magu, the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has been arrested by the Department of State Services.
The arrest was made over allegations that he owns four properties and that he was allegedly transferring funds abroad through a third party.
The DSS in a 2016 report revealed that accused of living in a N40m mansion paid for by one Umar Mohammed, a retired air commodore who is allegedly involved in shady deals.
“In December 2010, the Police Service Commission (PSC) found Magu guilty of action prejudicial to state security – withholding of EFCC files, sabotage, unauthorised removal of EFCC files and acts unbecoming of a police officer, and awarded him severe reprimand as punishment.
“Magu is currently occupying a residence rented for N40m at N20m per annum. This accommodation was not paid [for] from the commission’s finances, but by one Umar Mohammed, air commodore retired, a questionable businessman who has subsequently been arrested by the secret service.
“For the furnishing of the residence, Ibrahim Magu enlisted the Federal Capital Development Authority to award a contract to Africa Energy, a company owned by the same Mohammed, to furnish the residence at the cost of N43m.
“Investigations show that the acting EFCC chairman regularly embarked on official and private trips through a private jet owned by Mohammed.
“In one of such trips, Magu flew to Maiduguri alongside Mohammed with a bank MD who was being investigated by the EFCC over complicity in funds allegedly stolen by the immediate past petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
“Furthermore, the EFCC boss has so far maintained a high-profile lifestyle. This is exemplified by his preference for first-class air travels. On 24 June, 2016, he flew Emirate airlines first-class to Saudi Arabia to perform lesser hajj at the cost of N2.9m. This is in spite of Mr President’s directive to all public servants to fly economy class.
“Magu has fostered a beneficial relationship with Mohammed who by his confession approaches clients for possible exploitation, favours and associated returns,” the DSS report said.
The Street Journal learnt that Magu would have been arrested since last week after a report by the Attorney General of the Federation indicted him in stealing about N20 billion from funds and other exhibits recovered by the anti-graft agency. He was able to evade arrest when he got a clue of the DSS coming to his office.
However, Magu presented some documents which showed that some funds (which had not been finally forfeited to the Federal Government) were lodged separately in the account of EFFC in another bank to the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. He presented banks documents to back up his claim to the Number 2 citizen of our country.
The Vice President inturn presented all the documents he brought to him before President Buhari,so the President ask for further investigation thus enabling Magu evade the previous arrest attempt.
The recent allegations of Magu living above his means and occupying a high-priced residence led to his arrest.
Magu is yet to be confirmed as the substantive chairman of the EFCC despite occupying the position in acting capacity for many years.