PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has suspended Ibrahim Magu the acting chairman of the Economics and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after he was arrested by Department of State Security (DSS) operatives yesterday and detained overnight.
Yesterday, Mr Magu was arrested at his office in Abuja by men of the DSS 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.
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.
Following his arrest, Mr Magu was detained at a Criminal Investigation Department’s offices overnight where he was grilled by an inter-agency committee investigating corruption allegations against him. He has now been suspended from office pending when a decision will be taken on him.
Among the allegations against Mr Magu are that he travelled to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates without the authorisation of the president, in defiance of the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. He is also accused of living above his means as 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 is now alleged that Mr Magu owns four properties and that he was transferring funds abroad through a third party. Mr Magu is also accused of flying to Maiduguri alongside one Air Commodore Umar Mohammed, who is currently under investigation, along 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.