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Presidential Panel Grills Magu For Over 6 Hours, To Continue Tuesday

Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu has been facing a Presidential panel set up to investigate corruption allegations against him.

The panel, led by Justice Ayo Salami, a former President of the Court of Appeal grilled Magu for over 6 hours on Monday and is set to continue on Tuesday.

Recall that Magu was whisked to the venue of the questioning by security operatives on Monday, with reports of his arrest by the DSS making the rounds. The DSS has since denied while the EFCC has also said its boss was not forced by the panel.

Magu’s future hangs in the balance with a number of allegations against him. Some of these are as listed by Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation, are:

Discrepancies in the reconciliation records of the EFCC on recovered funds; Leaking investigative reports to the media before going to court; Sale of seized assets to cronies, associates and friends; Shortfall of N35 billion in his declaration of recovered funds; Insubordination to the AGF; Not providing enough evidences for the extradition of Diezani Alison-Madueke; Ignoring court order to unfreeze a N7 billion judgment in favour of a suspect.

Magu’s questioning was not concluded on Monday with the panel set to continue on Tuesday. According to reports, Magu was ‘detained’ on Monday, for a smooth continuation of the panel’s questioning on Tuesday.

Presidential Committee Warns Buhari About Malami’s Power Bloc

Meanwhile, the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) has warned Buhari against the vested, albeit, personal interest of the Attorney General of the Federation, Malami in the case.

After consulting with the leadership of the committee, Prof. Femi Odekunle, a member of the committee said the President should be wary of the interests of a power bloc against Magu, which is led by Malami.

While it said it is not in support of corruption and is totally behind punishment for whoever has been found culpable, PACAC also said Buhari must be cautious of dealing a fatal blow on the fight against corruption by not allowing the power bloc take decisions for him.

It also reposed confidence in Justice Ayo Salami and the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari to come to a conclusion that will be beneficial to Nigerians and the fight against corruption.

“The alleged originating Malami memo, up to the current “arrest “ seems an outcome of power-play by power blocs in the corridors of power in which Malami appears to be an arrow-head or major agent of a power bloc that is not really interested in, or in support of, Buhari’s anti-corruption fight.

“One can recall the earlier non-confirmation experience of Magu by the 8th Assembly, orchestrated by a power bloc and supported by the DSS ‘Security’ reports.

“One can also note the non-resubmission of Magu for confirmation since May, 2019 despite the apparent willingness of the 9th Assembly to consider it this time around.

“Furthermore, one must take cognisance of the alleged memo referred to earlier i.e by Malami concerning alleged corrupt practices by Magu, along with his own nominations for Magu’s replacement.

“Again, we cannot forget Malami’s demand of certain high profile case files from Magu which the latter has been resisting,” PACAC said.

“The position of PACAC is that while Magu, or any official of whatever status, must be nailed if found to be corrupt, the President must be careful not to shoot its anti-corruption fight /modest achievements in the foot, and not to forget that EFCC under Magu has been the Administration’s anti-corruption poster-face.

“It may not be contestable that Malami has been exploiting his alleged loyalty and closeness to the President for his personal /power bloc agenda.

“For, to the best of PACAC’s knowledge and observations, Malami has not manifested any genuine commitment to the anti-corruption fight. Samplers: The nolle- prosequi entered in a case of corruption against Orubebe in relation to alleged malfeasance while Minister of Niger Delta Ministry; his secret meeting with fugitive Maina in Dubai under whatever guise/ excuse; his involvement in the surreptitious reinjection of the same Maina into the Civil Service; his supervision of Obono-Oblas’ kangaroo Asset Recovery outfit which Obono subsequently ran out of the country when exposed by some ICPC investigation; his non-due attention, by design or default, to the P&ID matter since 2015 until it was blown open by humongous financial damage to the country; etc.

“Notwithstanding the situation at hand, the hope of PACAC is that the President would wake up to the ongoing shenanigans of power players that are working from the inside against his anti-corruption fight. We are also counting on the experience and dexterity of the new Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari whose loyalty to the President and good of the country cannot be doubted, and we also hope that the demonstrated integrity of retired Justice Salami would carry the day for thoroughness, fairness and justice in the interest of the anti-corruption fight.”

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