By Adenike Lucas
Abubakar Sidiq Usman, a popular blogger was arrested by armed operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in the early hours of August 8, 2016, after publishing an article on Abusidiqu.com on August 2, where staff accused the acting chair of the anti-corruption agency, Mr Ibrahim Mustafa Magu of bullying and corruption.
Consequent to the report titled: “Magu Commences Total War With Core EFCC Staff”, Abusidiq was accused of Cyber Stalking the EFCC boss.
In his first interview after his bail was granted, the Kogi State indigene revealed that the evidence the EFCC had against him where “print-outs of the articles I published concerning the former chair of the EFCC, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde and one or two concerning the current acting chair, Ibrahim Magu.”
In addition, the EFCC showed him “a print out of an email sent to me by the author of the articles with the content requesting for publishing space.”
Meanwhile, I, Adenike Lucas, the author of the article in question demand for the “Federal Government to investigate the real reason as to why Abusidiq was investigated.”
In a press release, I also called for an investigation into this pressing allegation made against Mr Magu and his predecessor, Mr Lamorde.
“I believe Mr Magu’s reaction to the article I wrote on August 8, lends credence that my sources were Core EFCC Staff at the commission who complained of “bullying and corruption.”
In August 2015, Abusidiq published an op-ed by SD Robo titled: ” Rejuvenating And Overhauling The EFCC, An Open Letter To The President-Elect Muhammadu Buhari.
In that piece, Robo accused some policemen of killing the Pension and Fuel Subsidy Investigation. He advised for President Buhari to purge the commission.
According to a staff member who did not want to be named, “Mr Magu is not prepared to send away corrupt policemen but he was forced to send some of his known lackeys to their mother organisation, this month.
Chief Superintendent Bello Yahaya and Superintendent Mohammed Baba Azare were among those returned by Mr Magu, following an intense write by Adenike Lucas which exposed corrupt activities in the commission he is currently leading.
Abusidiq, a prominent member of the Buhari Media Campaign team has published other articles highlighting corruption at the EFCC. The articles “Why EFCC Management Must Be Investigated Now, The Decay And Rot In the EFCC, The Hidden Corrupt Chameleon In EFCC, Why The Next EFCC Chairman Must Not Be Sentiment Based, Ibrahim Magu Returns ‘corrupt’ Police Lackeys to Mother Organisation, Arrested Commodore Caught With Sensitive EFCC Document At Maitama Home, Ibrahim Magu: Self-Acclaimed Anti-Corruption Czar Mounts Pressure on NASS For Confirmation.’’
This articles remain on Abusidiq’s website. A source close to the EFCC boss believes it is the culmination of this write ups that lead to the arrest of the blogger.
Nigerians expects Abusidiq to “head to the courts, following his “unlawful detention.”
Aisha Yesufu says “his rights were infringed upon and he was detained unlawfully.” She called for him to “sue that institution and get them to pay so that it will deter them from next time going on to arrest any Nigerians”.
She acknowledged that some people might say he should “just let it go and God will take control,” but she says “God has given us brains, we should stop abdicating our responsibilities to God.
The co-convenor of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign group urged Nigerians to be united in fighting corruption just like the elite who “in corruption are all united.
“Let us deal with issues now. This are the reasons these things keep on happening. If they get away with this today, then each and every one of us will be picked at,” Mrs Yesufu went on to add.
Since last week’s incident, other members of staff at the commission have gotten in touch with Adenike Lucas to report that Mr Magu was not relenting and that the bullying had intensified.
In addition, they made new allegations against their boss who they believed ordered the arrest of the popular blogger Abusidiq for revealing genuine FACTS.
One said that the Core staff Sambo Mayana, who led the operation to Abusidiq’s house in Kubwa, Abuja was a loyal boy to the corrupt CSP Bello Yahaya who was returned back to the police by Mr Magu recently. Bello Yahaya was said to be a “human tool for the former EFCC chairman, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde who was sacked by President Bubari.
Another explained that Mr Magu had been professionally advised in the past by the Director of Legal to shelve effort in harassing or victimising any staff associated with blowing the whistle about corruption in the organisation.
Rather than take the counsel given to him, the source said: ” Mr Magu removed the said director and transferred him out of the Legal Department.
In a later case too, Mr Magu of the EFCC also transferred another female EFCC Core staff, for questioning the rational of suspending the whistle blowers with impunity.
Some of these staffs, many thought to be in fear of their lives, have reached out to different Government officials so as to inform them of what is happening to them.
They say they were delighted to hear a member of the House of Representative had sponsored a bill to amend the EFCC Act. This would allow the most Senior EFCC Operative, a Grade Level 17 core member to be made boss instead of Mr Magu who is understood to have been a level 14, Assistant Commissioner of Police with no interest in building the EFCC as a revered Institution.
Another source revealed that Mr Lamorde, a police officer reportedly returned from Course study leave three weeks ago to take on the role of “Commissioner of Police with no portfolio” at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPSS which is situated in Kuru, Jos, Plateau State.
Meanwhile, it has become too glaring that Mr Magu of EFCC is working in connivance with Mr Lamorde to embarrass the Government of President Muhammadu Buhari. Otherwise, “offense did Abusidiq commit to warrant his arrest.
“Does this constitutes any Economic and Financial Crime. What then is the ‘Cyber Stalking’ that Mr Magu of EFCC is talking about?”
A person close to Mr Magu said: “there is a big chance that Mr Magu would be joining his old friend at the NIPSS as “corruption cases against him would prevent him from being confirmed,” when Senators returns from recess in September.
Many Nigerians are now asking: #IsMaguFit to lead the EFCC?