By Adenike Lucas
The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC Ibrahim Mustafa Magu has been accused of covering up for seconded police cronies that were involved in extorting money from those being investigated by the Commission.
A source at the anti-graft agency told this blog that while a Deputy Detective Superintendent, Uzodinma Kingsley Agbazue who took part in illegally collecting 15 Million Naira from an Honourable Member of the House of Representatives was named; there was no mention of the two police officers who were involved in the dodgy deal.
On September 23, 2016, it was reported by the anti-graft agency that an arrest of one Mr Agbazue, an operative was made.
According to the spokesman of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, a staff was apprehended following a complaint by a law maker that the staff had collected a bribe of N15million to kill a case, which the House of Representative member was being investigated upon.
The report went further to allude that the arrested operative had promised to use the alleged bribe to settle all those involved in the investigation so as to give the honourable member what is called a “soft landing.” EFCC staffers close to the investigation have asked to know why the Commission refused to release the name of the Honourable Member involved.
They say: “This recent arrest of Mr Agbazue for bribery involved two other policemen and Mr Magu of EFCC did not inform the public about their involvement.”
But rather, “he shielded them being his fellow colleagues at the Nigeria Police Force,” a source added.
Mr Magu is also being asked indirectly through this blog why he has refused to mention the name of the House of Representative member who offered a bribe to the said staff.
One said: “have they forgotten the rule that ‘the bribe taker and bribe giver are both culpable.’”
The insider believes “in the real sense of it, Mr Magu is in support of the act, but only trying to sacrifice the EFCC Staff.”
Mr Agbazue was said to have refunded N5million out of the total sum. Those who know how some seconded policemen at EFCC operates, are confident that Mr Agbazue did not act alone. They argued that “a more Senior Police Staff would have received from the ‘largesse’ extorted from the House Member.”
One said: “I ask, where and who did he share the remaining N10million with? This is what Magu of EFCC will not allow the public to know, because he is shielding two of his own policemen that were involved.”
Another person said that “this was the same manner Mr Magu of EFCC claimed to be aware of the $31.4m belonging to Mrs Patience Jonathan for over three months, but kept it away from Nigerians.
If others could be given media trial, why did Mr Magu keep this away from the public. Unfortunately, the flimsy excuse given to gullible Nigerians was that he didn’t want the public to think he was victimising the former first lady.
Staff say they disagree with their boss. They think Mr Magu of EFCC was “either planning to get his percentage from Mrs Jonathan or negotiate his confirmation by the NASS, since PDP Senators are still loyal to the former first family.”
The source further revealed that this has been the antics used by the Acting chair of the anti-graft Commission to make President Muhammadu Buhari to believe that he was putting his life at risk, to rid Nigeria of corrupt people, both within and outside the EFCC.
Those close to the investigation say that the EFCC Acting chair gives succour to some police officers caught in dodgy dealing but would let core staff take the fall on their own.
An alleged example of where Mr Magu had shielded police staff was a week ago when report were published on the arrest of a police officer, who led others including an EFCC Driver to steal from the sealed properties of former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh.
EFCC sources say, “a report of the initial story released fell short of mentioning the ‘Police Corporal Ismael’ as the syndicate leader, who had used his rifle and uniform to make their illegal activity seem like an authorized operation.”
To them the act is another of Mr Magu’s desperate act to shore up support “to hold into the substantive office of EFCC Chair.”
Another source says that corrupt police officers have “succeeded in mentoring some Core EFCC staff. Hence, they are being used to do some of their dirty deals. Then as stupid as these core EFCC staff are, when (yawa gas) chips are down, their tutors will sacrifice them. “Since by then, even if the apprehended core EFCC staff says they were sent to get the bribe by their tutors, It would be too late and no one would believe such again. That is for the foolish and daft headed among the compromised core EFCC staff”.
Others who have long complained about their “bullying” boss say he has laid several bad examples; One of the precedent set was the arrest of Abubakar ‘Abusidiqu’ Usman who published staff complaint of bullying and impunity against Mr Magu. Following Mr Usman’s arrest on August 8, 2016, government officials have copied Mr Magu in using the cybercrime bill to harass their critics.
They say that “Magu of EFCC cannot deny the fact that, this was not the same pattern himself and predecessor, Ibrahim Lamorde, have been using in victimizing, bullying, and dismissing EFCC Core Staff with impunity.
“Where cases that involves Seconded Policemen and EFCC Core staff, the latter is always at the receiving end. While the policemen are only exonerated and allowed to continue with their Job at their mother Organization, the Nigeria Police Force.” Other staff have confirmed to this media.”
In another perspective, the desperation embarked upon by Magu of EFCC did not stop with Core Staff of the anti-graft agency. He has taken it as far as using his New York ally, Sahara Reporters, to blackmail perceived enemies against his confirmation as EFCC Chair by NASS. To include among his victims on one hand, are some Emirs from the North West, North Central and North East. While on the other hand are President Buhari’s close associates; Abba Kyari, Gen. Dambazau, DG DSS, Lt. Gen. Buratai, Mamman Daura et al.
MEDIA WAR AGAINST PERCEIVED ENEMIES
Recently, they had accused Mamman Daura to have been part of the “Plagiarized Obama Speech”, which was discovered to be lies. Now, they moved to Abba Kyari, whom Sahara Reporter is fond of tarnishing his image, by saying the Chief of Staff to PMB had received a bribe of N500million from MTN, an allegation that was recently debunked by the CEO on MTN Nigeria.
Concurrently, Magu of EFCC did not also spare the IGP of his mother organization, the Nigeria Police Force.
After a thorough scolding given to Magu for impunity, bullying and indiscipline, few month later IGP Ibrahim Idris reputation has been tarnished by Sahara Reporters who also tried to drag the IGP’s family into their blackmail because he is perceived to be against Mr Magu’s confirmation.
Staff say “the media war is not happening by chance.” They believe that this is the type of desperation by Mr Magu if allowed to continue.
NOT FIT TO LEAD EFCC
“It is our appeal to PMB to as a matter of alacrity, help save the EFCC from the hands of those who are hell bent to soil its integrity, by portraying that the Core EFCC staff are not better off than them” a senior staff added.
This blog placed several calls across to the EFCC spokesman to ascertain the names of the police officers involved in the bribery allegations, it was not responded to at the time of filing this report.
(Special reports by the Editor In Chief)