Nigeria’s face of fighting corruption has been arrested for corruption. That is a very NEW low for a nation indeed. Nigeria does not inspire. Come to think of it, what do these guys need all these monies for? What is wrong with Nigeria?
Operatives of the Department of State Services staged a commando-style raid of the old headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission at about noon on Monday to arrest its chairman, Ibrahim Magu.
The whole premises in Wuse, Abuja was surrounded by scores of gunmen before the arrest.
His convoy was stopped by armed security agents and he was taken away after about 30 minutes of arguments between the various security officials present including those of Mr Magu.
“It was so embarrassing”, said a staff of the agency.
Reports said he was arrested over allegations that he owns four properties and that he had been involved with money laundering.
This same ‘Saint’ Magu who made quite a name for himself in February by announcing that the deadly Coronavirus was caused by corruption has always had controversy written all over his tenure as EFCC chief.
It is rather surprising to note that only a few hours later, the Department of State Services (DSS) came out to announce that the whole arrest incident was all a farce and nothing like that ever played out.
“The Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to inform the public that it did not arrest Ibrahim MAGU, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as has been reported by sections of the media”
This was announced by Peter Afunanya, spokesperson of the DSS.
How would a man with so many obvious misgivings and allegations be set free so easily without any form of thorough questioning and investigations?
The EFCC boss had disclosed a total recovery of ₦504 billion but lodged ₦543 billion in the Recovery Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The other allegations was that most of the recovered assets by the EFCC were allegedly sold by Magu without the knowledge of anyone.
In August 2008, following a search at his residence during the tenure of Farida Waziri (AIG/rtd) as the commission’s chairman, some sensitive EFCC
documents that were not supposed to be at his disposal were discovered.
He was subsequently redeployed to the police after days of detention and later suspended from the Force.
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.
Oga Magu is currently occupying a residence rented for ₦40m at ₦20m per annum. This accommodation was not paid for from the commission’s finances, but by one Umar Mohammed, air commodore retired. A very 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 ₦43m.
It has also been reported that the 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 ₦2.9m. 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.
BLACKMAIL AND INTIMIDATION
Whereas Magu portrays himself as very secretive, he has fostered a mutually beneficial relationship with Mohammed who, by his confession,
approaches ‘clients’ for possible exploitation, favours and associated returns. This was facilitated with official secrets divulged by Magu and
from which dealings he is believed to have been drawing considerable benefits.
This was evidenced by the number of official and classified documents he made available to his associates, especially Mohammed. After a search of
Mohammed’s premises, a forged letter of the Office of the Vice President, dated 20th May, 2016, was recovered. The letter was a fictitious investigation report from Vice President to Mr. President, requesting for approval to commence further probe into a matter allegedly involving Hon.
Minister of State for Petroleum.
Attached to the letter were two EFCC letters dated 13th April, 2016, and another 24th March, 2016, addressed to the vice president being investigation reports on the activities of Emmanuel Kachikwu and his brother Dumebi Kachikwu. Similarly recovered during the search were information on assets and personal details of Kachikwu who they duped and wrung out huge amounts of money from.
All the blame should not be on Magu alone, the present Nigerian Government who have connived with their cabals to put the security system of Nigeria to complete ruin should also take part of the blame, a really huge chunk of it.
It is very difficult to buy the argument that the Buhari government should, for the third time, forward Mr. Ibrahim Magu’s name to the Senate for confirmation as chair of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
It is commonsense to look for another candidate with requisite forensic training, military discipline, intellectual comportment, and iron commitment to initiate, plan, and execute an effective anti-corruption campaign. At any rate, Ibrahim Magu possesses sufficient deep understanding and articulation of the corruption challenge nor the intellectual capacity to lead the agency in formulating long-term and efficient policies that will confront corruption from its root causes.
There must be something that pushes them to keep forwarding his name for the job, maybe he has got one or two of the major cabal members by their testicles threatening to open a can of worms.
Only time would reveal.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK