Magugate: Buhari now realizes Saraki was his friend

February 18, 2021
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The end of the road of Ibrahim Magu in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as Chairman, has finally exposed the hidden truth in the government of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari where facts and realities are being swept away from the knowledge of the President. The travail of the former EFCC chairman in the aftermath of the presidential investigation panel headed by the former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, the suspension of Magu from office, and President Buhari’s nomination of a substantive EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, indicate that the Eighth Senate under the leadership of Dr. Bukola Saraki, was not wrong in the decision not to confirm Magu as EFCC chairman as requested by the presidency on the advice of a security report from the Department of Security Service (DSS). The presidential panel revealed more allegations of corruption against Magu beyond the reasons the Senate gave for declining the confirmation of the former EFCC acting chairman. President Buhari after receiving the report of the panel, proceeded to forward the name of the acting EFCC chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, who succeeded Magu, to the Senate for screening and confirmation. President Buhari, perhaps convinced by the report of the Justice Salami panel, on Tuesday requested the Senate to confirm Bawa as substantive EFCC Chairman, sending Magu to sunset dawn in the EFCC. Apparently, President Buhari, accepting the Justice Salami panel report and appointing a new chairman, may have now realized that former Senate President Saraki was his friend, and may have led the eighth Senate in the right direction in rejecting Magu’s confirmation. The former may have been assisting the president to fight corruption through institutional framework after the DSS report which indicted Magu.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had insisted that Magu will continue to be EFCC acting chairman after his confirmation was rejected by the Eighth Senate. It was obvious that for the vice president it was either Magu or no one else.

Though, President Buhari appointed Magu acting chairman, Osinbajo sent Magu’s name to the Senate for confirmation when the president traveled to London on medical holidays, transmitting executive powers to Osinbajo as acting president. Two times the vice president sent Magu’s name for confirmation, two times the Senate rejected Magu as EFCC chairman.

The DSS had in its report sent to the Senate on October 3, 2016, indicted Magu for alleged double life, sabotage, and corruption. The DSS report revealed that Magu was being investigated for his close ties to an indicted retired Commodore Umar Mohammed of the Nigerian Air Force.

The DSS in a 15-paragraph letter to the Senate, disclosed that sensitive documents were found when the Service conducted a search at Magu’s residence in August 2008 during the tenure of Mrs. Farida Waziri as EFCC chairman, which he was not supposed to be in possession of; the Service said Magu was under investigation then.

The DSS stated that the sensitive documents found at Magu’s residence led to his detention; later redeployment from EFCC to the Nigeria Police Force and was thereafter suspended from the Force.

The DSS had also reported that the Police Service Commission (PSC) in December 2010 indicted Magu of “acting prejudicially to state security, withholding files, sabotage, unauthorised removal of EFCC files and acts unbecoming of a police officer and awarded him severe reprimand and punishment”.

The DSS pointed out that when Ibrahim Lamorde was appointed EFCC chairman, he facilitated the reinstatement of Magu, who worked with him when he was Director of Operations.

The DSS also revealed that Magu lived a flamboyant life, narrating that he was living in a rented apartment of N40 million, at N20 million per annum, noting that the rent was mot paid by EFCC but paid by Commodore Umar Mohammed, who the Service identified  as a questionable businessman who was once arrested by the DSS.
The Service stated that Mohammed furnished Magu’s residence at the cost of N43 million; adding that he made  official and private travels in a private carrier, Easy Jet, owned by Mohammed.

The DSS had cited that that the former EFCC chairman flew, one of such trips, to Maiduguri with Mohammed and the Managing Director of Fidelity Bank Plc, Mr. Nnamdi Okonkwo, who was under EFCC investigation “on complicity in funds allegedly lodged with the bank by the former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke.”

DSS also accused Magu of flying in first class against the directive of the president. The former EFCC boss was said to have “once flown first class to Saudi Arabia to perform the lesser hajj at the cost of N2.9 million.”

The DSS also said that Magu had purportedly divulged official secrets to Mohammed in return for what he was benefitting from him.

The DSS, after listing other alleged malfeasance, then, concluded: “In the light of the foregoing, Magu failed the integrity test and will eventually constitute a liability to the anti-corruption drive of the present administration.”

The report was compiled by the DSS on the directive of the DSS Director-General, Lawal Daura.
The Senate, accordingly, rejected Magu’s confirmation, requesting President Buhari to send a fresh nominee for confirmation.

Meanwhile, there is no White Paper yet on the Justice Salami panel report submitted to the president. The actions of the president after receiving the report shows the former EFCC chairman must have been indicted by the panel.

President Buhari and the APC government appeared to have seen more than the Senate led by Saraki saw, leading to developing obsession against Magu.

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