Whistle Blowing: How Magu Illegally Suspended Five EFCC Operatives For Over 24 Months
Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has been nailed in another controversial suspension and demotion of five operatives of the commission for allegedly exposing corrupt practices perpetuated by the immediate past Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde and himself.
Recall that in November 2015, erstwhile EFCC Boss, Ibrahim Lamorde, was removed from office and was instructed to hand over to Mr Magu, who he had worked closely with while at the Commission.
Abusidiqu gathered that the suspended whistleblowers played leading role in Lamorde’s removal from office. This however did not go down well with Magu, whom in loyalty to his ex-boss – Lamorde, ordered the immediate suspension of the operatives.
To keep the suspecting eyes of the public from the illegal suspension of the operatives, Magu, reportedly engaged some media organizations to play the narrative that the suspended operatives had overstayed their stipulated secondment years.
A memo with reference number EFCC/P/HR/ confirmed that an investigation was logged at the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC), against the suspended operatives. Mr Magu’s request to the FCSC, seeking their help on how to unjustly indict the operatives failed. Abusidiqu gathered that Mr Magu was advised by the FCSC to immediately recall the operatives. Till date, the anti-graft boss has lent deaf ears to all counseling regarding the illegal suspension.
In another effort to further subject the suspended operatives to even more unpalatable conditions, an insider revealed that Mr Magu went as far as taking their phones abroad, for a forensic analysis. The aim was to ensure that something incriminating is found and used by the anti-graft boss to tarnish the image of the operatives.
Additionally, Mr Magu proceeded to the Presidency with a false narration, claiming that the said operatives were involved in “espionage,” in order to paint a demeaning picture of the Federal Government, but was reportedly ignored by the Presidency.
Despite efforts made by an Appointment, Promotion And Disciplinary Committee (APDC), to call the anti-graft boss to order, the suspended operatives have been subjected to untold hardship as Magu single handedly stopped all the salaries and allowances of the operatives.
In related development, Mr Magu broke the commission’s rule by reshuffling Directors in various Departments with a clear mission to commit them to the misdemeanor he had long subjected the suspended operatives to. Mostly affected are the APDC members who were teleguided on what actions to initiate by the anti-graft boss.
After much pressure on Mr Magu to backtrack on his actions, the APDC, under the strict order of the anti-graft boss, were instructed to alter its earlier report, which exonerated the operatives from any infraction or crime. The APDC then wrote the operatives reinstating them on the condition that they will forfeit all entitlements during the period of their suspension, tender a letter of apology on the said publications to the Acting Chairman, swear to an oath of secrecy, accept that they have been downgraded, write an undertaken to be of good conduct, and accept that they shall be deployed.
As far as we know, it appears some other staff members may be suffering similar fate as these illegally suspended five operatives who took the bold stand to expose internal corruption within the commission. Mr Magu, allegedly orchestrated the removal of a Senior Management Director (name withheld), from service over fears that he may be appointed to head the commission. The fate of this Senior Director remains unclear. But he has taken the acting EFCC chairman and the commission to the Industrial court on the grounds of unlawful suspension and demotion.
While these conditions may have been turned down by the operatives, staff members of the anti-graft commission are increasingly losing their morale to key into the commission’s’ goal to nip corruption in the bud as whoever is not in good term with Mr. Magu or found exposing rot within the agency faces intimidation and force eviction from office.
The proclamation of the whistle blowing policy has no doubt helped the EFCC in recovering looted funds which includes $9,000,000.00, traced to a former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); N49,000,000.00 cash discovered at the Kaduna Airport, another stash cash of about N500,000,000.00 discovered at a shopping plaza in Lagos, and the $43,000,000.00 discovered in Ikoyi, area of Lagos, but this same policy has been used unjustly victimise the five operatives who exposed certain corruption in the EFCC. In spite of Magu’s anti-corruption war, it has however become a taboo for EFCC staff to use same instrument to expose wrong doings of the anti-graft boss.