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By Adenike Lucas
Another dimension of the acting chair of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s impunity and lopsided fight against internal corruption is extensively revealed in this write up by Adenike Lucas.
Over the past few months, an investigation by Adenike Lucas has unearthed worrying levels of corruption and plans by Mr Ibrahim Mustafa Magu of the EFCC to subvert the rules of the EFCC.
Mr Magu who spearheaded the suspension of some dedicated staff of the anti-graft agency that exposed the criminalities perpetuated by his predecessor, Mr Ibrahim Lamorde is silently quelling charges levied against him by the state’s security service.
Questions are now being asked about the integrity of the Borno born acting chair, following an indicting report against him by the Department of State Security (DSS). Concerns have also increased over his links to the arrested Air Commodore, Umar Muhammed (rtd).
Despite his pretenses, an inside source at the EFCC previously exposed the close ties between the Air Force Commander and Mr Magu.
In a series of conversation held with Adenike Lucas, the EFCC whistleblower accused the National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno, known to be Mr Magu’s Godfather of embezzling troop allowance. Mr Magu is said to be preventing several cases like this from being investigated.
Staffs have had to dam all consequence in their decision to speak out over the intimidation and abusive methods been deplored by Mr Magu in his planned attempt of evading justice.
In one case of abuse of power, Mr Magu accused a female regular staff of hobnobbing with an ex-governor of a North Central State.
Onlookers at the Abuja office said Mr Magu, called: “her to his office and the next thing was to start accusing her of fraternizing with the said former Governor.
Apparently, this threat would never have been carried out on a seconded woman police officer talk of a police man, but, “because of the internal injustice which Mr Magu had aligned with the path of Mr Lamorde, here is what the regular staff gets.”
Over the past year, so many regular staffs have been dismissed as a result of injustice. Many have gone to the National Industrial Court and got judgement for reinstatement. Only for the Police led EFCC to appeal such judgements. Many are still at the NIC for various wrongful dismissals of appointments. Most of which Mr Magu of EFCC is privy to, and partook in the impunity wholly.
Not only is Mr Magu suppressing vocal staff who speak against his corrupt leadership. He has also decided to punish allies of this regular staff for no reason.
Two sets of Regular Cadets of the EFCC had been due for promotion since two years ago, but Mr Magu has refused to get them moved to the next rank, neither did he allow for interview to be conducted.
Apparently, Mr Magu of EFCC has wade off any issue regarding the promotion of the regular staff of EFCC, without any rationale.
How on earth can a sincere, just, incorruptible and credible acting chair think in such a myopic manner? As at today, Mr Magu of EFCC has stagnated the promotion of the core staff of EFCC, while the seconded policemen keep receiving their due promotion from their mother organisation, the Nigeria Police, and making them have edge in terms of placement better than the bona fide staff of the anti-graft agency.
This was the same Magu of EFCC, who was returned to police in 2008 by a senior EFCC chair Mrs. Farida Waziri. Reasons being that he was alleged of hiding case files on investigated Ex-Governors, and other official documents. At that time, he was the Head of the Section, Economic Governance, in charge of Politically Exposed Persons cases.
Also, Magu was alleged to be divulging official information to Sahara Reporters and the pioneer Chair of the EFCC, Nuhu Ribadu whilst in Mrs Waziri’s regime. That was why, after she removed him from the agency, Sahara Reporters led an onslaught against Mrs. Waziri, till ex-President Goodluck Jonathan removed her.
That is why the same Sahara Reporters is carrying out ‘Image laundering’ on his behalf, by trying to rubbish Director General DSS Lawal Daura, Chief of Staff Mallam Abba Kyari, Gen. Minister of Interior Abdul Rahman Dambazau, Mamman Daura, COAS Gen. Tukur Buratai and others whom they see as exposing Mr Magu’s pseudo war against corruption.
In a nutshell, instead of proper leadership in the EFCC that will foster harmonious coexistence among various segments of staff, Mr Magu is encouraging ’empire building’ in the anti-graft agency by some policemen against the regular staff.
Among all other impunities laid at Mr Magu’s door, is his failure to investigate his ally such as Mr Lamorde, DCP Mohammed Wakili, CSP. Iliyasu Kwarbai, CSP. Ibrahim Yidi, ASP. Bashir Mua’azu, SP. Ishaku Sharu who were in charge of Arms Deal Investigation.
Mr Magu claims to be fighting corruption, if this is true, why is there no plan to investigate Mr Lamorde?
Can Mr Magu look anyone in the face as he gives a reply to that question? Of course he cannot. Purposely, because they are all policemen, as you can see from their ranks. However, let a regular staff exchange pleasantry with an accused; I bet Magu may order that regular staff to be slaughtered. Is that not injustice and corruption, said the source.
A few staffs have been suspended since November for speaking about corruption which led to the dismissal of the former chairman, Mr Lamorde. For this act, they were sacked by Mr Magu.
Senior staff at the Headquarters that had advised and told him it was wrong was either removed or transfers from their job.
This staff who feel they are been witch hunted say: “efforts made by most top staff to call Mr Magu’s attention to this fact have fallen on deaf ears.”
For instance, a director in the Legal Department who gave a legal advice to Mr Magu to back out of humiliating the whistleblowers was removed from that department. Another scenario is a senior female staff who cautioned Mr Magu on the injustice against the whistleblowers, by suspending and denying them salaries for over six months. She was transferred to a State office of the agency to work under a junior seconded policeman.
A second source shed more light on the level of fraud in the anti-corruption agency being headed by Mr Magu and why certain high profile cases have stalled.
“So many impunity has been going on since the appointment of Mr Magu as acting chair of EFCC, yet no one is telling the President the truth about internal illegalities of Magu in EFCC,” the informant intoned.
He continued: “But today, Mr Magu will tell the world and Nigerians that he is flushing out the bad eggs from the anti-graft agency. What he meant, most Nigerians do not know.”
This second EFCC source based in Lagos said: “corrupt police officers who are well known to have benefited from corrupt practices, in cases like subsidy investigations, pension investigations, and so many other politically exposed persons cases, were let off the hook by Magu when he started as acting chair of the anti-graft agency.
“Humiliating the regular staff of the agency, and freeing his policemen colleagues, who have made billions while on secondment to EFCC,” is also in the increase, he added.
“Yet the regular staff of the agency are being messed up every day, and made to look like the dirty officers polluting the EFCC. This is not true, though there are a few bad staff of the agency. About 90% of the seconded policeman to EFCC, are more engulfed in internal corrupt practices, which Magu himself is fully aware, but had left them to go and enjoy their ‘God-given illicit wealth.’
“Anytime Mr Magu talks about corruption fighting back, it sounds ridiculous. To think that he is just trying to hoodwink gullible Nigerians who are already deceived by his perceived fight against corruption, and the President whom he feels he has succeeded in cajoling.”
Today, it must be averred to the public that Mr Magu is a desperate fraud. In his desperation, he authorised the anti-corruption award to Deputy Ike Ekweremadu, hoping that it would make factions of the NASS members happy with him but it backfired.
In a previous conversation, a fearless informant called for the previous EFCC chair, Mr Lamorde to be investigated, if there is actual sincerity in Mr Magu’s corruption fight.
“Why would Mr Magu who has always said he will fight corruption till he dies not have investigated some of those seconded policemen, before sending them back to the police,” the source asked.
It should be noted that Mr Magu was never screened by the DSS and with an impending DSS report which will indict Mr Magu, the President cannot afford to have such person leading a vital institution like the EFCC.
I urge our President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR to immediately withdraw the confirmation request for Mr Magu which was sent by his Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
In my view, an armed robber cannot be tasked with the job of catching thieves.