EXCLUSIVE: How SSS submitted two contradictory reports on EFCC boss, Magu, to Senate

Director General of SSS, Lawan Daura
Director General of SSS, Lawal Daura.

The State Security Service (SSS) sent two different and contradictory security reports to the Nigerian Senate on the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), PREMIUM TIMES can authoritatively report today.

While both reports stated that Mr. Magu had some “integrity issues”, they differed on the actions they suggest the upper chamber take on the confirmation of the EFCC boss.

One of the reports suggested that clearing the anti-corruption fighter would spell danger for the administration’s anti-graft war.

The other described Mr. Magu as having performed excellently so far, and should therefore be favourably considered for the post of substantive chair of the EFCC.

Three senators told PREMIUM TIMES in separate interviews that the two reports were dated October 3, 2016, with one addressed to the acting clerk of the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani-Omolori, and the other to the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Ita Enang.

The two reports were also signed by the same official, Folashade Bello, on behalf of the Director General of the SSS, Lawal Daura.

The two documents were sent to the President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki.

The senators, who requested not to be named so they are not accused of divulging proceedings at a closed session, said both letters were read to lawmakers during the executive session held to decide the fate of Mr. Magu last Thursday.

“The two letters contain almost the same allegations against Magu,” one of the senators said. “But they are different in the recommendations made.

“While the report addressed to Ita Enang was dated August 25, 2016, the one to the acting clerk was dated September 21, 2016. But both were signed by the same Folashade Bello on behalf of Daura.”

Another Senator disclosed that in the letter written to Mr. Enang, the SSS stated that “although they found some adverse things in relation to Magu, he should be cleared given his excellent performance. They said he should be given the chance to run the commission.”

However, the senator said, the same SSS in the report addressed to the acting clerk about a month later asked the Senate not to confirm Mr. Magu.

“That other report concluded by saying Magu is integrity-challenged and will constitute a liability to the anti-corruption stand of the Buhari administration,” he said. “We can’t understand why the SSS cannot get its act together to issue a single report and make the same recommendation.”

A third senator told PREMIUM TIMES the Senate decided not to confirm Mr. Magu because of the two contradictory reports.

“It is our position that given the two confusing reports, it is only the president that can decide whether he still wants the man to run the EFCC or not. The ball is in his court,” he said.

The spokesperson for the Senate, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi, had told journalists on Thursday that the upper chamber decided against confirming Mr. Magu based on adverse security report from the SSS and that the Senate would write to the president intimating him of the decision.

Contacted on Monday for comments on the two contradictory reports the Senate received, Mr. Abdullahi said he would not join issue with anyone on the decision taken on the Magu affair.

“We have a moral, legal and constitutional duties to vet nominees, and that is what we did,” Mr. Abdullahi said. “Every necessary administrative actions were taken.

“What usually happen in every confirmation hearing was what took place. Whoever is not satisfied should explore other avenues to make his or her case. As far as we are concerned, we have done our job.”

In the reports, the SSS, among other allegations, accused Mr. Magu of benefitting from proceeds of fraud from an individual it (SSS) is prosecuting.

The agency alleged that the suspect, Umar Mohammed, who was a member of the presidential panel on arms procurement, paid the rent and furnished Mr. Magu’s official residence in the Maitama district of Abuja.

It also claimed that Mr. Magu used Mr. Mohammed’s private jets for trips outside Abuja.

A fact-check of the allegations by this newspaper indicates they were largely false.

The presidency said on Sunday that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to investigate allegations of corruption against Mr. Magu and other officials of his administration accused of corruption.


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  • Anti-Corruption Coalition

    EDITOR SIR,

    The directive by President Buhari to probe money corruption alleged against his appointed officials
    shows a narrow view of corruption. What happened here is the worst form of procedural corruption.
    A possible interpretation is that the SSS intentionally lulled President Buhari to sleep with clearance
    for Mr. Magu in its August letter delivered to Buhari through the Special Assistant on Legislative
    matters; Mr. Ita Enang.

    With President Buhari then fooled and lulled to sleep by the lullaby played by the SSS,
    there was no cautious defence against what SSS later finessed on 3rd October when it sent a
    contradictory advice to the Senate; directly, asking that Mr. Magu be rejected as EFCC Chairman.
    This is the worst form of corruption in any state administration perpetrated by the Director General
    of the SSS, Lawal Daura, to force President Buhari into a blind-spot and fetter Buhari’s discretion.

    • Abdullah Musa

      If an appointee deceives his principal, what is the principal expected to do?
      But in this case it is the victim, ( Magu), who is being investigated.

    • oyoko

      9njia una sabi rightoo.

  • Yemi

    This clearly shows that Mr President PMB is not really in charge of his administration,this’s a house divided against it self an this’s not what i voted for,for a long time Saharareporters hav been running an article on how the COS to Mr President hav collided wt d DSS director to frustrated Magu confirmation wt d help Mr Saraki,sir this’s d time to act Mr President otherwise ur integrity wld come to nothing

    • oyoko

      I think Mr President has done the right thing by directing AGF to investigate the corruption charges. The truth will come out at the end of the day, bcos this time Mr Magu will be given the chance to defend himself and present every evidence that will exonerate him, and whoever was involve in this embarrassment will be punish.

    • dudu

      Bless you Yemi, I didn’t vote for this either.

  • Factsay

    “While both reports stated that Mr. Magu had some “integrity issues””

    This means that Magu is not qualified to head the commission irrespective of the either of recommendations. If he’s allowed he would be compromised bcoz of his baggage.

    Buhari should find someone with impeccable character so that nobody will point any finger on him or her

    • Rommel

      So you did not read this “A fact-check of the allegations by this newspaper indicates they were largely false”

      • Manuel Tobby

        He can never see or read that part. You don’t know how much bigotry damages mental capacity.

        • Akoko

          How did Premium times carry out it’s fact checking. Bunch of liars. Did it have access to intelligence that the DSS did not possess. Am I the only who thinks all policemen in Nigeria are corrupt. No way Magu could have risen to position of Inspector without being corrupt.

          • Baba B

            your warped thought process must be as convoluted as your name. What Intel report do you need to know that the FCDA and not Commodore Umar paid for his rent or sort of intelligence do you need to confirm that he was given a lift just once when indeed he was with a colleague. Mumu critical thinking must be extremely difficult for you so your assumption must be that everybody has the same deficiency

  • thusspokez

    The other described Mr. Magu as having performed excellently so far, and should therefore be favourably considered for the post of substantive chair of the EFCC.

    It would be inappropriate for the unfit-for-purpose SSS to use the phrase “be favourably considered” in its intelligence report to the senate. The whole purpose of such a report is to provide the senate information to enable it come make an independent judgement and decision.

    • Logico 2000

      @thusspokez:disqus

      President Muhamadu Buhari is a poor manager of men and resources. He cannot recognize talents,
      even when face to face with a talented person. His world view is pre-historic. He hardly thinks and
      therefore did not get anything done since May 29, 2015. He sees the world in binary terms of
      Muslims and others and nails his colors to the mast of Muslims. In effect he’s failing as badly
      as an incompetent employed at a job above his level of thought. There’s no single person
      President Buhari appointed who’s made any sense since then or afterwards. By reflex,
      President Buhari is more at home with mediocre, crooks, criminals and thieves,
      than he would be with geniuses and salient thinkers whom he viscerally rejects.

      • emmanuel

        Prime analysis

  • thusspokez

    Gross unprofessional inner workings of the Buhari government

    I don’t know how Mr. Magu’ name got into Buhari’s in-box, but I would imagine (in summary) that the process is as follows:

    (1) It starts with the president’s selection team asking around for potential candidates for the job — to create a pool of candidates.
    (2) For each candidate, their CV is scrutinised; and their suitability debated by members of the selection team.
    (3) (Depending on sensitivity of the post) Security clearance is sought from the police and intelligence agencies.
    (4) Executive report, i.e., a final short list of candidates and recommendations are then presented to the president to decide on which candidate to forward to the senate for confirmation.

    It would seem from all the confusion that clearly the above process had not been followed — particularly, step #3 had not been done — otherwise, the Senate would have received the same information from the intelligence agencies as the president’s team at step #3. And Mr. Magu’s nomination (other things being equal) would have passed the Senate confirmation, having already passed step #3.

    How the Buhari administration had handled Mr. Magu selection process (or lack of it ) is an example of first-class mediocrity; it provides a depressing insight into the gross unprofessional inner workings of the Nigerian federal government. Shameful indeed!

    • Gary

      Apt analysis. Just goes to show the mediocrity and culture of “our-turn-to eat” impunity that runs through Nigerian politics.

      Had Buhari asked, the Ahmed Joda Transition Team should have been tasked with picking the kitchen cabinet and key cabinet portfolios like AGF, Defence, Finance, National Planning and Economic Advisers. Left to me Mr.Joda should have been retained as a member of the inner circle.

      We are witnesses to the current mess as a result of a shocking lack of knowledge of public administration and due process in setting up a government by Mr. Buhari’s trusted inner circle. He sacrificed competence for personal loyalty. And it shows.

  • Retired Journalist

    DEAR ALL,

    Premium Times is in a pantheon of legends

    Let truth be told, no news media in Nigeria has better educated
    journalism professionals in Nigeria than PREMIUM TIMES. No newspaper
    in Nigeria today can compare with Premium Times’ fidelity to truth as the first
    principle of responsible journalism. No other news-media can be quoted with
    certitude like PREMIUM TIMES. And none today can compare with Premium Times
    either in depth of analysis or in investigation of actual facts.

    Anyone who’s yet to read Premium Times is either prejudiced or otherwise
    allergic to truth. I am not aware of any newspaper ever published in Nigeria,
    except perhaps The Guardian between 1985 and 1987, that can hold a candle to
    the Premium Times in breadth of knowledge or objective reporting of the truth
    and nothing but the truth; no matter how inconvenient. How Premium Times
    alone got to the heart of this concentric circle of conspiracy to show the role
    that SSS played in the Senate’s rejection of the EFCC, is peerless journalism
    belonging to the pantheon of legends.

    • ??????questo

      MUST THEY WEAR HIJAB FROM MORNING TILL NIGHT BECAUSE THEY

      ARE IN A PANTHEON OF LEGENDS? THAT IS THE QUESTION ARISING.

    • Gary

      Ok, we hear you. So should we give them cookies and milk for doing their jobs? Made easy by warring factions in government leaking like sieves to push their respective agenda on the public.

      What PT has going for it is its growing credibility with being fair to all sides of on any issue and refusing to become a Notice Board for the government or any of its agencies.

      Plus they finally got wise to stop censoring comments, no matter how unpalatable to their sponsors or interests. Factual and fair reporting that allows for free-wheeling comments (within the bounds of decency) from readers should be the norm rather than the exception for any news medium.

      • dudu

        Not cookies, but a commendation of the fact. It is not easy operating in this kind of milieu that exists in Nigeria and stick to ethics. So show some respect please, would you?

        • Gary

          Sorry, I happen to hold myself and my fellow countrymen to high standards that I don’t gaga when folks or institutions do what is expected of them as a matter of course.
          That is why some praise Governors who manage to pay salaries on time and tar roads as having achieved a rare feat.
          Premium Times is doing what is expected of competent journalism. Period.
          I’ll recommend them for a Pulitzer Prize if they get Buhari to come on record to give them an exclusive interview on the apparent disarray in his government and how he plans to right the ship.
          See the difference?

          • Manuel Tobby

            It’s obvious you are not a manager of men. So you think reward or award are out of place in management.

            So if your son say thank you for a gift, it’s out of place? ????

            Please do your own job too and let’s feel the impact nationally.

          • Gary

            Let’s leave fellow readers to judge. Suffice it to say we have differences standards. If my son scores 80% in a test, he gets a pat on the back for justifying the sacrifice of sending him to school.
            If he scores 95% and above, then he can ask to go to DisneyWorld.
            Different strokes for different folks.

          • emmanuel

            PT is nothing near your claim. They are executioners for APC. Please get balanced reportage before you conclude on this matter. They know how to help kill such matters by throwing up such confusion.
            On the issue of censoring, they have also gone beyond that to having theirs hands-men do backward integration in attempts to hack or send virus through sources of posts, that way they reduce the number of recalcitrant opposing views – that is called corruption.

          • Gary

            I think you’ve addressed the wrong person.

          • Baba B

            The fellow is obviously insane, so kindly ignore him

          • dudu

            Actually, I do hold institutions to high standards too especially the media which also happens to be my constituency if I may add. Its good you acknowledge that Premium Times is doing what is expected as a media establishment. Nonetheless, as for the Pulitzer Prize, I would say granting an exclusive interview with PMB does not automatically signify competent journalism. Nada. In other words, it goes beyond just interviewing the President on what went wrong with his govt. What actually signifies competency, enhanced credibility, and reputation of a media house is actually the courage to make investigations, the courage to put down the findings of that investigation and must be as objective as possible. I trust that you understand this position Gary.

    • dudu

      Absolutely sir, I concur

    • Man_Enough

      I confirm my informations from premium times, the unbridled and unafraid journal.

  • A.Ahmad

    That’s what principal officer’s are doing.

  • Manuel Tobby

    God shall bless you all at premium times forever

  • joelaw

    The sss boss is diabolical and unfit to run the organization, otherwise, what is the essence of two recommendations based on the same assessment. This is nothing but vendetta and the President should ignore him and allow Magu continue with his job.

    • Blessing

      Am sure the best thing to do is to allow the AGF to investigate and make finding public. If he is exonerated then he should continue.

      • Suleiman Alatise

        And the AGF himself should be closely marked, to ensure no stone is left unturned.

  • emmanuel

    Laan Daura is Buhari and Magu is same. fix the five names in a jig saw puzzle and you find a huge fraud in governance by an anti-corruption government: Buhari, Lawan Daura, Magu, Babachir and Maman Daura. Bunch of liars with tainted corrupt records. Have you forgotten the man who ate from UBEC funds of about N1billion fraudulently? That one is in charge of INEC.
    Yet one lame duck called Itse Sagay, seat somewhere and run his watery mouth about corruption fighting back.
    It is actually corruption fighting itself and not fighting back.
    Jibrin, Dogara, Saraki, Umar of CCB, Burutai, Magu, Daura, Babachir, Prof. Yukubu, Liar Mohammed, Communication Minister of MTN fine, Minister of Industry of MTN money laundering, Fayemi, Amaechi, Fashola, Oshomole and the big masquerade – Buhari; who is clean?

    • Blessing

      Am sure you have a problem of understanding and lack of knowledge.

    • zygote

      None! except you.