The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, has strongly condemned the news going round that the Acting Chairman of the Commission, Ibrahim Magu was arrested by the Department of State Security Service, popularly called”DSS”. The Commission, in a Press Statement this evening 6th of July, 2020 explained that Mr Magu honoured an invitation by a Presidential Panel reviewing the activities of the EFCC, at its Banquet Hall wing of the Presidential Villa Abuja venue. He got the urgent invitation while he was on his way to the Force Headquarters of the Nigerian Police Force, and he promptly responded by heading straight to the venue.
The EFCC boss, according to the Commission’s Head of Media & Publicity, ‘Dele Oyewale, was neither arrested nor forced to honour the invitation. He added that “a member of a legal team from the EFCC is also with him on the Presidential Panel.”
Regardless the clarification that he was not indeed arrested, there has been an obvious power or influence tussle between the EFCC and the SSS, a situation that has in several cases slowed down the activities and effectiveness of both organisations since the appointment of Magu. This awkward relationship between the two affected the efforts to get the National Assembly to confirm the appointment of Magu as the substantive chairman of the Commission. And with the recent statements credited to the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami alleging insubordination and suspicious practices by the Acting Chairman, the latest I may not be unconnected.
Magu had since 2017 been accused of owning choice properties in Dubai, and affiliating with a business man of questionable means, living in very expensive residence. The AGF had recently accused the chairman of traveling to Dubai without the consent of the president or the AGF himself. He was also accused of making financial transactions that appeared suspicious.
Magu has served the longest in the capacity of Acting Chairman and the latest issues will not help the cause to be announced the substantive chairman of EFCC yet.
The DSSS have themselves denied arresting Ibrahim Magu, and warned the public to desist from peddling fake or misleading news.
Shehu Sani, erstwhile senator representing the Kaduna North Senatorial District, has mocked the EFCC as it tries to clarify that Magu was not arrested. He said, “You invited me,I voluntarily honored with my lawyer and you fed the media with the news that I was arrested.They learnt from you.”
The EFCC is prosecuting Sani on two counts charge of name dropping and extortion.