The heat on the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, a Commissioner of Police, increased wednesday as his interrogation by the Justice Ayo Salami-led presidential panel entered the third day, with the Police high command insisting that it is against its service rule for him to be under investigation and still function in office.
The Police, last night, has, therefore, directed the most senior police officer in the commission, Mr. Mohammed Umar, a deputy commissioner of police, and the commission’s director in charge of operations to stand in, pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation of Magu.
As Magu continued to tell the panel his own side of the story wednesday, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, denied an allegation by “Jackson Ude that he collected N4billion from the EFCC boss”.
A statement by his media aide, Mr. Laolu Akande, said the allegation was false and had been referred to the appropriate authority for investigation.
A reliable security source said that the Police High command had decided to subject Magu, a serving commissioner in the force, to its service rules, which does not allow an officer who is under investigation to function in the office.
“Magu is essentially a policeman and he is subject to police rules. So, the police are holding him and insisting that he must stand down,” the highly placed security source said.
Magu might be suffering from his perceived arrogance and stubbornness, and having failed to give respect to his seniors in the security services, which had brought him on a collision course with very senior officers of the force, including his superiors as well as the Department of State Security (DSS), which wrote the damaging report that did him in at the Eight Senate that refused to confirm his nomination as chairman of the commission.
“Magu certainly allowed his position to get into his head. Many senior officers of the force have issues with him and feel this is an opportunity to get even with him,” he said.
“Apart from his arrest and investigation of a former director-general of DSS, Mr. Ita Ekpenyong, Magu also clashed with the secret service over the acquisition of 14, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi Lagos, as the commission’s annex office, which used to be owned by the DSS,” the security source said.
Part of Magu’s problem, explained another source, is the lack of clarity in his submissions to the press and the authorities on the commission’s recoveries.
One of the allegations against the anti-graft boss was that whereas he claimed that the commission had recovered N980 billion worth of assets while what is in the account is less than N100 billion.
But Magu had laboured unsuccessfully to explain that most of the assets and monies recovered were under litigation and could not be posted to the account of the federal government until the litigations are concluded.
Meanwhile, his interrogation continued yesterday for the third day.
However, as it was the situation on Monday and Tuesday, journalists were again barred from accessing the venue of the meeting as a security official at the gate of the venue turned them back.
Magu, who had been in police custody since Monday night was brought before the panel at 11.44 am by the FCID.
He was later joined by his lawyer at the investigation panel sitting