Ibrahim Magu, prior to his recent suspension, was the head of Nigeria’s anti-corruption agency, the EFCC. He was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari to lead the fight against corruption in Nigeria. Buhari had, during his campaign in 2014, vowed to tackle this malaise, in order to improve the distribution of the country’s common wealth and also improve her international image.
Recently, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, accused Ibrahim Magu of diverting recovered loot from indicted corrupt officials, as well as insubordination and misconduct.
Here are Top 7 key facts about the suspension of the embattled anti-corruption chief.
#1: AGF Petitions President Buhari against Magu
The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made accusations against Magu in a memo sent to President Buhari. The AGF, in his letter to the President, alleged that Ibrahim Magu had re-looted part of the cash and other assets recovered from alleged corrupt individuals and organizations. The suspended acting EFCC boss was also accused of insubordination and misconduct. The Minister of Justice bears oversight responsibility over the antigraft agency.
#2: Presidential Panel
A presidential panel headed by Justice Ayo Salami, a former President of the Court Appeal, is investigating Ibrahim Magu on the 22 allegations levelled against him by Abubakar Malami.
Although the accusations against Magu have not been publicly disclosed in their entirety by the presidential panel, some of them reportedly include: corruption, insubordination and disrespect to Office of the Minister of Justice.
In a related development, a report released by the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets revealed that Magu allegedly:
- Re‐looted the interest on ₦550 billion recovered from treasury looters.
- Laundered money with the aid of a cleric
- Failed to cooperate with the AGF’s office for the extradition of Diezani Allisson.
#3: DSS Arrests Ibrahim Magu
It was widely reported that the suspended anti-corruption chief was arrested by the DSS operatives after failing to honour two previous invitations by the panel. However, both the DSS and EFCC have on separate occasions denied the arrest, claiming he was only ‘invited’ by the panel to respond to the accusations made against him by the AGF.
#4: EFCC Boss Detained
The EFCC boss was held in Police custody after the first day of his hearing by the panel. The presidential panel gave the order for the EFCC boss to be detained. Magu was eventually granted bail after spending 10 days in Police custody.
According to Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, the panel’s decision to detain Magu might have been in order to ensure that relevant documents and evidence were not tampered with.
#5: Buhari Suspends Magu
In the wake of the ongoing probe, President Muhammadu Buhari suspended the Acting Chairman of EFCC Ibrahim Magu from office, pending the outcome of the investigating panel’s work. The Presidency, through its Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, justified the President’s decision to suspend Magu. He disclosed that a preliminary assessment was done on the allegations against Magu and other EFCC officials, which necessitated the probe.
Part of a statement issued by Garba Shehu reads: “As is the proper procedure, when allegations are made against the Chief Executive of an institution, and in this case an institution that ought to be seen as beyond reproach, the Chief Executive has to step down from his post and allow for a transparent and unhindered investigation”.
#6: DSS, Police Raid Magu’s Residences
Operatives of the SSS and riot policemen were dispatched to search the two Abuja residences of Ibrahim Magu one day after his arrest. According to a report by Punch newspaper, an anonymous police officer who is familiar with the case disclosed that: “On Tuesday evening, a team of policemen stormed the home of Magu in Karu. That is the house where Magu used to live before he moved to Maitama after his appointment as EFCC chairman. The policemen made away with some items and everything will be processed as investigations continue.”
#7: Magu Regains Freedom, But The Probe Continues
The Presidential panel gave the green light for Magu to be released after spending 10 days in police custody. Although he is no longer being held, the panel’s probe is still in progress. At the end of its probe, the panel is expected to submit its report to the President for further action.