SUSPENDED Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu has rubbished recent claims attributed to a person identified as Jackson Ude that he gave N4bn ($10.3m) to vice president Professor Yemi Osinbajo saying the agency has no such cash.
On Monday this week, Mr Magu was arrested by men of the Department of State Security in Abuja and has since been held for questioning by a presidential panel set up to investigate him. President Muhammadu Buhari has since suspended him from office and over the last few days, all sorts of stories have been circulating about impropriety associated with Mr Magu.
For instance, it is alleged that Mr Magu travelled to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates without the authorisation of the president, in defiance of the coronavirus lockdown. Mr Magus is also accused of living beyond his means and of having an close relationship with retired military officer Air Commodore Umar Mohammed, said to be of questionable character.
Among other things, Mr Magu is also accused of owning four properties and said to have been transferring funds abroad through a third party. It is also alleged that 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.
Over the last week, Mr Ude upped the ante by publishing stories in online publications PointBlank News and Newsreel.com.ng claiming that Mr Magu handed Professor Osinbajo N4bn from the money he acquired. While responding to questions put before him by the presidential investigating panel, Mr Magu said he does not know where how vice president became associated with the matter.
Mr Magu said: “I did not tell the panel that I gave the vice president N4bn. Where will I get such money? Do I have access to such funds? It is part of mudslinging? I do not have any control of such cash and I did not order the transfer of N4bn to the vice president or to anybody.”
Already, Professor Osinbajo has asked the inspector-general of police to investigate the allegations against him. His demand was contained in a July 9 petition signed by his lawyers, Taiwo Osipitan and Abimbola Kayode.
Laolu Akande, Professor Osinbajo’s spokesman, added: “The allegation is a blatant lie to tarnish upright public officer’s image but despite the online media peddling lies, the vice president will not be distracted. In essence, Ude’s story is that “embattled former EFCC chairman allegedly embezzled over ₦39bn and gave vice president Yemi Osinbajo ₦4bn, after the VP gave instructions to him to release some of the recovered loots.
“This same Jackson Ude has also been circulating a video on YouTube with a female commentator, peddling the same lies. With all emphasis at our disposal, let it be firmly stated that these are totally false and baseless fabrications purporting to reflect goings-on at the probe panel investigating Mr Ibrahim Magu.
“They are indeed completely absurd in every respect. Sadly, such mindless, vicious and reckless publications have now become the preferred tool of unscrupulous and reprobate elements in our society who are procured with monetary inducement to peddle blatant falsehood, tarnish the image of upright public officials and mislead unsuspecting Nigerians.
“Vice President Yemi Osinbajo will of course not be distracted by these obvious campaigns of lies and calumny.”