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Insubordination, diversion of recovered assets- real reasons Malami wants Magu removed

ABUBAKAR Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the acting Chairman of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu over allegations of corruption.

The Attorney General is also alleging that the acting EFCC chairman of insubordination to his office and diversion of assets recovered by the Commission,  as well as lack of transparency and discrepancies of figures about recovered assets.

Malami’s demand for the removal of Magu was contained in a memo written to President Buhari on Thursday, according to This Day.

One of such allegations, according to the publication was that the EFCC boss disclosed a total recovery of N504 billion but lodged N543 billion in the Recovery Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The other one is that most of the recovered assets by the EFCC were allegedly sold by Magu without the knowledge of anyone.

The report says the Minister’s letter to the president contained 22 weighty allegations that require Buhari’s decision on whether or not to send Magu’s name to the Senate for confirmation or replace him.

According to the report, the Minister had made a recommendation of three candidates from which the president could appoint a replacement for Magu when he is finally removed.

The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice is the Supervisory Ministry to the EFCC, and Malami according to the memo alleged that Magu was not carrying the ministry along in his actions.

Magu has survived previous plots to remove him as the acting Chairman of EFCC, while the National Assembly also declined to confirm him twice as the substantive chairman of the Commission.

In a report sent to the 8th Assembly in 2017 by the Department of State Service (DSS) upon which the Senate declined to confirm Magu, August 2008, it was reported that some sensitive EFCC documents which were not supposed to be at his disposal were discovered.

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“He was subsequently redeployed to the police after days of detention and later suspended from the Force. In December 2010, the Police Service Commission found Magu guilty of “action prejudicial to state security, withholding of EFCC files, sabotage, unauthorised removal of EFCC files and acts unbecoming of a Police officer,” and awarded him severe reprimand as punishment,” part of the letter read.

The DSS  report largely indicted him for unwholesome practices.

The report stated that Magu often embarked on air trips with a retired Air Commodore Umar Mohammed who the DSS tagged  ‘questionable businessman and ally of the subject who has subsequently arrested by the Service.’

According to the DSS report, Magu traveled with a particular Managing Director of a bank who was being investigated by EFCC for complicity in funds allegedly stolen by former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.

Apart from spending time with persons being investigated by the Commission, the report stated that Magu was dismissed by the Police Commission for ‘action prejudicial to state security, withholding of EFCC files, sabotage, unauthorised removal of EFCC files and acts unbecoming of a Police officer’.

Earlier in December 2015, the same 8th National Assembly refused to confirm Magu as Chairman of the Commission following Buhari’s recommendation.

The Red Chamber said it could not confirm him as the Chairman of EFCC based on security report.

“The Senate wishes to inform the public that based on available security report, the Senate cannot proceed with the confirmation of Ibrahim Magu as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,” said Aliyu Abdullahi, Senate spokesperson at the time.

Meanwhile, Magu had recently boasted of the achievements of the Commission under his leadership stating that the EFCC recorded  2,240 convictions in the last five years.

He disclosed that the Commission recovered assets worth N980 billion including oil vessels, private jets, estates among others.

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When contacted by The ICIR, Dele Oyewale Head, Media and Publicity at the EFCC declined comment on the memo seeking the removal of his boss.

“I don’t have any comment to make on it,” Oyewale told The ICIR.

Phone calls to Abubakar Malami and SMS sent to him to clarify issues about his memo to the president were not answered or replied at the time of filing this report.

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