Exclusive By Adenike Lucas
The Acting Chair of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC is so desperate to be confirmed, he has sought the help of the same media he tried to shut down, this website has learnt.
A month ago, Mr Ibrahim Mustafa Magu ordered the arrest of Abubakar Sidiq Usman, a popular blogger also known as ‘Abusidiq’.
Abusidiq published an article – ( http://abusidiqu.com/efcc-boss-magu-commences-total-war-core-efcc-staff/) Magu Commences Total War With Core EFCC Staff, – which accused the EFCC boss of corruption and bullying of core staff.
A follow up piece by the author of that article stated the concern of the family of a man who had died in custody of the EFCC. Mr Desmond Nunugwo’s relatives believe that Mr Magu had prevented them from finding out the true cause of his death. They say that Mr Magu did so, as the result would have been detrimental to his confirmation.
In response to this allegation, Mr Magu who tried to frighten a media practitioner, Abusidiq from publishing the atrocity being committed at the commission since the time of Mr Ibrahim Lamorde to date, ran to the same media that rallied around the popular blogger Abusidiq who he ordered to be arrested for “Cyber Stalking” on August 8, 2016.
Thereafter, Mr Magu then begged journalists to come on a tour at the EFCC, hoping that a positive spin is put to the public on how suspects are nicely treated at the Commission’s detention facilities.
It is not certain if the propaganda worked, but the EFCC Acting Chairperson not wanting to leave things to chance, is now ‘blackmailing’ top class Emirs from the North West, North Central and North East whom he assumed had benefited from the Cash-For-Arms deal, with the hope that they would speak to President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, before the Senate reconvenes on the 20th of this month.
A source with direct knowledge of the EFCC, told Adenike Lucas that their boss was “extremely concerned” about his confirmation. Mr Magu is said to be so “worried that he might not be confirmed, he is fighting several perceived enemies.”
The Borno State indigene has made an enemy out of many people he thinks are working against his confirmation, the insider said.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the EFCC official said the ‘perceived’ dark forces working against the EFCC alleged by Mr Magu, are those who have exposed or spoken against the wrong doing of the Acting Chair.
For example, citing the recent spat between the EFCC boss and the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami who ordered an inquiry into the death of Mr Nunugwo, the EFCC source confirmed that Mr Magu was indeed angry about Mr Malami’s decision to investigate the matter he was so desperate to have swept under the carpet.
“Think about it, when the acting Inspector General of Police (Ibrahim Kpotun Idris) promised to investigate pension cases in the EFCC, Mr Magu decided to tarnish his reputation by planting false stories in spaces managed by his online loyalists in New York,” the source went on to add.
Also, it was pointed out that a recent recommendation made by the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud SAN had also upset Mr Magu of EFCC. Mr Magu was enraged by the call for the review of the Prosecutorial Powers of the EFCC.
In a statement where he called lawyers ‘rogues and vultures’, Mr Magu came up with the lame excuse that an agency that cannot prosecute, cannot investigate. The EFCC Acting Chair found support in Mr Rotimi Jacobs SAN a well-known ‘external’ prosecutor for the EFCC.
According to staff, “instead of funding the International Training for EFCC Core Lawyer Prosecutors, Mr Magu and his predecessor Ibrahim Lamorde have been paying external lawyer Mr Rotimi Jacob and others with tax payers’ money, without deduction of ‘With Holding Tax- WHT”.
It was argued that this “breach of financial regulation,” was the reason why senior lawyers like Mr Jacobs, seen to have benefited largely from the EFCC are so eager to defend the unguarded utterances of Mr Magu of EFCC against the NBA President.
Calling lawyers ‘rogue and vultures,’ many lambasted the EFCC Acting Chair and questioned if he forgot that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo was a lawyer and member of the NBA”.
Presidential source revealed their displeasure with Mr Magu’s recent speech and in a recent interview, one advised that the acting leader of the anti-graft commission should “talk less and work more behind the scene.”
A group called the Coalition of Nigerian Youths for Change Initiative (CNTCI) went further by calling for the sack of Mr Magu following revelation that the arrested Air Commodore, Mr Umar Mohammed (Rtd) by the Department of State Security was fronting for him.
In a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Mr Oladimeji Ayo in Abuja, the group claims that the arrested retired Air Pilot Mr Mohammed was awarded N43 million contract to furnish the new Maitama apartment of the EFCC Boss in Abuja.
Mr Ayo said: “the apartment which was rented for N40 million for two years at a time the nation is undergoing economic recession, was enough reason for President Buhari to relieve Magu of his appointment.” As even the Ministers under the cabinet of the President could hardly afford a resident to live in the FCT.
Meanwhile, it is said that the bullying of regular staff has intensified. In perspective articles, this blog revealed that terrified staff were speaking out about the Acting Chair of the EFCC whom we expressed concerns about his ‘unfair’ treatment of workers.
Unfortunately, Mr Magu of the EFCC believes these articles might hinder his confirmation by the Senate in the coming weeks. As a result, he has decided to pick on core staff of EFCC who he feels are revealing atrocities committed by him to the media.
According to sources, the latest person to bear the brunt of Mr Magu’s anger is a lady who got married and asked to be transferred to her husband’s location.
A source close to the matter stated that: “the Rules and Ethics of the EFCC and Public Service entails, a female staff can apply for ‘transfer’ on the ground of relocation to her husband’s State of residence.
“This staff applied through the appropriate channels but, Mr Magu authorised that the application should be thrown away. What kind of “Power Drunk” is this man, they asked?”
Apparently, they feel, “Nigerians are really gullible, not realising who Mr Magu is, and what he will do to his perceived enemies, when he gets confirmed by NASS.”
The 8th Parliament resumes on September 20th. The Senate has been urged to withhold the confirmation of Mr Magu, pending the outcome of the DSS report and an investigation by the Nigerian Human Right Commission.