Magu released as Buhari axes more EFCC officials
The suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, was yesterday released after 10 days in detention.
He had been arrested and hauled before the Justice Ayo Salami-led presidential panel to answer the fraud charges preferred against him by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
Magu was in a police facility in Abuja from where he had been taken before the probe committee every morning.
His lawyer, Tosin Ojoamo, had written the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, last Friday, demanding his bail.
But the IGP, in a response released earlier yesterday, said the panel was the one holding him.
The erstwhile anti-graft czar was arrested last week Monday.
This came, as President Muhammadu Buhari reportedly suspended over 10 senior officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Guardian learnt that the anti-graft agency’s executive secretary, Olanipekun Olukoyede, was among those axed for “various alleged criminal and corrupt infractions.”
The Ekiti indigene, who was at a time chief of staff to the suspended acting chairman of the commission, Magu, was appointed in November 2018 to replace Emmanuel Aremo, whose five-year tenure expired in July of same year.
A Presidency source said they were unseated to allow for an “unhindered investigation into the activities of the EFCC under the administration of the suspended acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu.”
“All the top officials in the agency have been suspended, and their offices locked to prevent any tampering with files at the commission,” he added.
The informant clarified that the new helmsman was not affected, as he was “found not to be a part of the suspected underhand dealings in the EFCC.”
The Police Force Criminal Investigation Department, had on Monday, seized two official bulletproof vehicles belonging to Magu. While one was recovered in Abuja, the other was reportedly fetched from Maiduguri, Borno State. Both were initially taken to the Force Headquarters in Abuja, before eventually finding their way to the commission’s head office in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
It was also gathered that detectives stormed the new EFCC building located along Airport Road within the city to seal off Magu’s office located on the 10th floor of the magnificent structure amid barricading of workers.
The Nigerian leader, last week, replaced Magu with the organisation’s Head of Operations, Mohammed Umar.
In a related development, chairman of the Adamawa State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Rev. (Dr.) Stephen Dami Mamza, has pooh-poohed the anti-corruption crusade of the Buhari administration, describing it as a “highest deceit.”
He claimed that the current government was fast becoming the most corrupt administration in Africa.
Mamza, who is also the Catholic Bishop of Yola Diocese, said the Magu case had “exposed the corrupt activities going on in the present government.”
The cleric went on: “Nigerians should seek answers from the President, why only northern Muslims are heading the EFCC.
“If Buhari is not corrupt, where in the constitution of Nigeria is it written that somebody can act in an office for five years. Constitutional breaches are the worst form of corruption.”
The CAN chair, who also faulted the alleged lopsided appointments by the nation’s first citizen, queried: “Can’t a retired or serving judge from the south head the EFCC? Must it be a police officer, when it is clear that the force has lost its image?