How Magu Defied Presidential Panel Directive To Move Against Ex-DSS And NIA DGs
Indications have emerged on how Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, flouted the decision of an administrative panel set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to resolve national security crisis at the foreign intelligence office from laying siege on the home of a former Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayodele Oke.
Premium Times exclusively reports that the panel had informed Magu to defer all summons targeted at Mr. Oke while they work with the embattled former spy chief to sort out a myriad of succession and operational issues racking the NIA in the aftermath of the N13 billion naira Ikoyi cash scandal.
In a move contrary to the panel’s recommendation, EFCC operatives stormed the Asokoro home of Mr. Oke to effect his arrest on the order of Magu, but was fiercely resisted by DSS operatives stationed at the gate of the Ex NIA boss.
Recall that the panel was inaugurated on November 7, and members include Babagana Kingibe, Zakari Ibrahim, Niyi Oladeji and Albert Horsfall — all formerly of the NIA.
“In November 2, Magu wrote the presidential panel to seek an audience with Mr. Oke over an alleged criminal wrongdoings in the N13 billion Ikoyi cash scandal.
“On November 3, the panel responded —under a State House letterhead— to Mr. Magu that granting his request would not be feasible against the backdrop of their unfolding activities.
“The members said Mr. Oke was preparing handover notes to the newly-named acting DG of the NIA; while also helping them with their preliminary duties ahead of their inauguration, Premium Times learnt from sources familiar with the deliberations.
“Two days after their inauguration on November 9, the panel fired another notice to the EFCC, emphasising that the anti-graft office should put off further invitations to Mr. Oke because its ongoing review activities would require that the former NIA chief be on standby to clarify issues as and when necessary,” Premium Times report.
Amidst the exchange of letters and request, Mr. Oke had visited the EFCC on November 7 to assure the agency’s director of operations of his willingness to submit himself for questioning as soon as the panel had concluded its activities and released him, sources said.
He also stayed in touch with the EFCC in Lagos, where the discovered N13 billion case is domiciled, to inform investigators of his provisional constraints with similar assurances of his readiness to cooperate when discharged by the presidential panel.
Furthermore, Mr. Magu had written to Mr. Daura, informing the SSS boss that the EFCC was investigating a slew of suspicious transactions by Mr. Ekpeyong during his days at the domestic intelligence office.
But Mr. Daura declined, saying his agency had no records of financial impropriety against Mr. Ekpeyong and, as such, the EFCC’s service would not be necessary.
The DSS boss had reportedly relied on a presidential proclamation by the former head of state, Abdusalami Abubakar, that no other agency would investigate the SSS accounts or operations.
The edict, titled Instrument No 1 of 1999, shields the SSS from external audit and investigation of its financial dealings, making them subject to only presidential review.
This however did not interest Magu as he swoop on the Asokoro homes of Mr. Ekpeyong, and Mr. Oke last Tuesday, despite being warned by the DSS boss, Mr. Daura.