Panel questions EFCC chiefs as Magu’s probe, detention continue

MAGU AND THE ABUJA POWER GAME

The presidential panel investigating allegations of corruption levelled against the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, on Thursday quizzed the EFCC Secretary, Olanipekun Olukoyede, and some directors of the commission.

 

It was gathered that the EFCC officials were asked questions about the allegation of diversion of recovered funds levelled against Magu.

 

It was learnt that top officials of the EFCC were invited to either corroborate or fault some explanations Magu had made before the panel.

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The suspended EFCC boss has been in the police detention since Monday when he was arrested in front of the old EFCC headquarters on Fomella Street, Wuse 2, Abuja and forced to appear before the presidential panel at its sitting in the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

 

The suspended EFCC boss was subjected to several hours of interrogation on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday by Justice Ayo Salami-led panel.

 

He was asked to respond to 22 allegations levelled against him by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), in his memo to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

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Besides alleged diversion of recovered loot, Magu was accused of selling or mysteriously releasing about 157 oil tankers seized in Port Harcourt without following due process.

 

Also, a report by the Auditor-General of the Federation last year alleged that about N13.96bn recorded as salaries and wages in the consolidated financial statement of the EFCC were not in the anti-graft agency’s trial balance submitted for reconciliation

 

Panel grills Magu for 12 hours.

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On Thursday, Magu spent 12 hours before the presidential panel.

 

After the interrogation, Magu was again driven back to the Force Criminal Investigation Department, Garki, where he spent the fourth night in police custody.

 

Magu arrived at the Aso Villa Banquet Hall as early as 9am according to his lawyer, Tosin Ojaomo.

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The suspended EFCC boss was subsequently brought before the panel led by Salami, and the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, FCID, Mike Ogbezi.

 

A source at the panel said the directors who were quizzed by the panel, absolved themselves of involvement in funds diversion.

 

In a related development, fresh information indicated that the embattled former EFCC boss attempted to probe the National Security Adviser, Mohammed Monguno, for an alleged undisclosed financial crime.

 

A senior Ministry of Justice official said Magu did not seek the approval of the President and the supervising Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation.

 

The authorities were said to have got wind of Magu’s plan and immediately nicked it in the bud.

 

The source stated, “Apart from courting trouble by attempting to probe NSA Monguno, Magu was also disrespectful to the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, who accused him of insubordination. This is why no one is pleading for him because his cup is full. His attempt to probe the NSA who was said to be instrumental to his appointment marked the genesis of his troubles.”

 

Meanwhile, a group of anti-corruption campaigners, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, on Thursday asked the anti-graft agency to immediately launch a thorough investigation into the relationship between Magu and a former senator, Buruji Kashamu.

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