Reports by Nigerian News media Monday morning says, the acting chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu has been arrested by officers of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) in Abuja.
According to the reports, the security agents who arrested Magu took him straight to Aso Rock, the Presidential Palace, where he will face a panel investigating allegations of corruption and insubordination levelled against him by Nigeria’s Attorney-General, Mr. Abubakar Malami.
In June, the Attorney-General reportedly complained to President Muhammadu Buhari about Magu’s conduct and advised that he should be relieved of his appointment.
The DSS in a 2016 report revealed that Magu was living in a N40m mansion. According to the report; “In December 2010, the Police Service Commission (PSC) had 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 DSS report said.
In its report, the Punch newspaper said it gathered that “the security details to Magu put up a stiff resistance during the arrest of their principal, as they objected to the DSS move.”
But in a statement, EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, denied that his boss, Mr Magu was arrested, saying, the EFCC chairman went to Aso Rock to appear before a panel set up by the president to review activities of the Commission.
His statement reads: “Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu on Monday, July 6, 2020, honoured an invitation by a Presidential Panel reviewing the activities of the EFCC, at the Banquet Hall wing of the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Mr Oyewale said.
“He was served the invitation to the Panel, while on his way to the Force Headquarters, Abuja for a meeting.
“The EFCC’s boss was neither arrested nor forced to honour the invitation. A member of a legal team from the EFCC is also with him on the Panel.”
The DSS also in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunanya, denied arresting Magu.
The statement reads; “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.
“The service, has since, today, 6th July, 2020, been inundated with inquiries over the alleged arrest.”
The situation remained hazy as journalists covering Aso Rock were denied entry into the venue where the panel is questioning Mr. Magu.