From Yusuf Alli, Managing Editor, Abuja
- EFCC chair returns to custody after second-day of grilling
- Three shortlisted for job
Detectives on Tuesday searched the personal house of the embattled Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu.
The EFCC boss is under investigation by an Administrative Panel, headed by Justice Isa Ayo Salami, a former president of the Court of Appeal. He appeared at the panel on Tuesday for the second day.
It was learnt that the detectives combed Magu’s house in Karu on the outskirts of Abuja at about 7pm.
A source said: “About 10 detectives in four vehicles went to Magu’s personal house in Karu, a clustered suburb of Abuja. They met some aides and guards. They said they came to search the house but the aides and security guards resisted them.
“When they insisted that they were acting on intelligence, the security guards and aides called Magu’s wife on the telephone and she directed them to allow the detectives access.
“They conducted the search unhindered. They did not find anything in the house. They wrote a report which was countersigned by one of the aides.
“The same team got in touch with Magu’s wife that it would search Magu’s Maitama official quarters. As a family, we have cooperated with the detectives. And as at 9.30m, the family was waiting for the detectives.
“But we believe that the head of the house ought to be around during the search to avoid misrepresentation.”
There were indications on Tuesday that the findings of the Salami Administrative Panel will guide the final decision by President Muhammadu Buhari on Magu’s fate.
The President engaged the Justice Salami panel to enable him have a broader perspective on the allegations against Magu by Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN).
The source said: “The President is only awaiting Salami panel’s report before taking his decision. He wants to be fair to all parties.
“He does not want any ad hoc approach to the allegations, he has directed the committee to give him a comprehensive report. The anti-corruption agenda is crucial to the administration of President Buhari, he will not want it derailed.
“And the choice of Justice Salami was strategic because he is a man who will dispense justice without fear or favour.”
Another government source said: “Magu’s matter is still unfolding, it is too early to make any categorical comment. I think we should allow some time.”
For the second day, the EFCC chairman appeared before the Presidential Committee to clarify some of the issues raised against him.
After the Monday’s interaction, Magu was not allowed to go home. He was detained at the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID).
Magu arrived at the Banquet Wing of the Presidential Villa at about 9am and left for his detention facility on Tuesday around 8pm after another round of questioning.
A source said: “I think the scope of the allegations is being expanded. Some issues were raised on Monday on the report of the Presidential Audit Committee; the EFCC Audit Report yet to be signed; and Magu’s relationship with some persons.
“The Acting EFCC chairman also went with his lawyer and he came out of the sitting after 8pm.
Already, three candidates have been shortlisted should it become necessary to replace Magu. Two of them are Commissioners of Police.
A source said: “The three candidates have been profiled by the relevant security agencies. Buhari’s decision on Magu will determine who gets the job.”
Some of the 22 allegations are:
- Alleged discrepancies in the reconciliation records of the EFCC and the Federal Ministry of Finance on recovered funds
- Declaration of N539billion as recovered funds instead of N504b earlier claimed
- Insubordination to the office of the AGF by not seeking his approval on some decisions
- Not providing enough evidence for the extradition of ex-Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke
- Alleged late action on the investigation of Process and Industrial Development (P&ID) leading to legal dispute
- Not respecting court order to unfreeze a N7billion judgment in favour of a former Executive Director of First Bank
- Alleged delay in acting on two vessels seized by Nigerian Navy leading to the loss of crude
- Alleged favouring of some investigators called Magu’s Boys
- Reporting some judges to their presiding officers without deferring to the AGF
- Alleged sales of seized assets to cronies, associates and friends
- Alleged issuance of investigative activities to some media prejudicial to some cases.