Nigeria’s Federal Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami on the 19th of June had recommended in a memo to President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Anti Graft head over several grounds including misconduct, diversion of recovered loot and insubordination.
Reports of Arrest by Nigeria’s Secret Police
Department of State Security DSS, Nigeria’s secret police on Monday afternoon arrested the Head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC Ibrahim Magu outside its offices in Wuse II Abuja but a spokesperson for the secret police Peter Afunanya in a media statement said “DSS wishes to inform the public that it did not arrest Ibrahim Magu, acting EFCC chairman as has been reported by sections of the media.
His statement refuted the claim that the Anti corruption boss was arrested by its operatives.
Ibrahim Magu has been in acting capacity for five years now after the senate of the the Republic refused to swear him into office as the substantive head of the agency.
Despite several reports of his arrest coming out from Nigeria, the Media aide to the anti-graft head Tony Amokedo also was reported to have said that his boss was not arrested but only invited by a panel probing allegations against the agency.
A 2016 report by the DSS Indicting Ibrahim Magu reads;
“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”.
“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, Air Commodore retired, 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. “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 N2.9m. 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”. The report said.
The UEMOA zone countries of the Ecowas monetary union comprising Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo are going ahead to replace its CFA currency with the new Eco currency ahead of the rest member states.
Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari expressed displeasure over this sudden move by the UEMOA zone countries without any discussion with the rest member states.
He said “Nigeria fully supports and is committed to a monetary union with the right fundamentals—a union which guarantees credibility, sustainability and overall regional prosperity and sovereignty. But we must do things properly and ensure absolute compliance with the set standards”.
“We cannot ridicule ourselves by entering a union to disintegrate, potentially no sooner than we enter into it. We need to be clear and unequivocal about our position regarding this process”. He added.
He expressed that this move by the UEMOA predominantly French speaking Ecowas member states of the monetary union is rather out of convenience and there is a need to communicate to the outside world effectively as all members who have staked so much into this project for it to fail.
“We must proceed with caution and comply with the agreed process of reaching our collective goal while treating each other with utmost respect. Without these, our ambitions for a strategic Monetary Union as an ECOWAS bloc could very well be in serious jeopardy”. His statement concluded.