ACTING Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chairman Ibrahim Magu is likely to be charged by his own staff for impropriety after he was arrested by the men of the Department of State Services (DSS) this afternoon.
Mr Magu, 58, has been acting EFCC chairman since November 2015 as repeated attempts to get him confirmed as substantive chair have repeatedly been foiled by lawmaker in the National Assembly. They have repeatedly voted against conforming Mr Magu’s appointment in what has become a highly charged political drama with accusations and counter-accusations flying around.
Supporters of the EFCC boss, say many lawmakers and vested interest groups in the government are afraid that Mr Magu will come after them as he is a no-nonsense policeman with zero tolerance for corruption. This morning, however, the drama came to a head when DSS operatives arrived the EFCC headquarters in Abuja and quietly whisked him away without creating any scene.
Mr Magu’s arrest comes a few days after Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, accused him of gross infractions and asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the EFCC boss over some weighty allegations, including the diversion of recovered loot. In addition to allegedly re-looting recovered money, Mr Malami accused the acting EFCC chairman of insubordination and misconduct.
Apparently, Mr Magu travelled to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates without the authorisation of the president, in defiance of the CO-19 lockdown restrictions. Sources say that when he was questioned, he said he went for an investigation.
Mr Magu is also alleged to be living above his means. In 2016, the senate declined to confirm the appointment of Magu as EFCC chairman after a DSS report indicted him of corruption, pointing to the fact that his salary cannot justify his lifestyle.
It read: “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, a retired air commodore, a questionable businessman who has subsequently been arrested by the secret service.
“For the furnishing of the residence, 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.”
It is now alleged that Mr Magu owns four properties and that he was transferring funds abroad through a third party. He is now undergoing interrogation at the DSS headquarters In Aso Drive, Abuja.
“In December 2010, the Police Service Commission found Mr Magu guilty of action prejudicial to state security by withholding of EFCC files, sabotage, unauthorised removal of documents and acts unbecoming of a police officer. It handed him a severe reprimand as punishment for this.
According to the DSS, during one trip, Mr Magu flew to Maiduguri alongside Air Commodore Mohammed with a bank managing director, who was being investigated by the EFCC over complicity in funds allegedly stolen by former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke. It also alleged that on June 24 2016, Mr Magu flew with Emirate Airlines first class to Saudi Arabia to perform the lesser hajj at the cost of N2.9m, despite President Buhari’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 added.