Corrupt ex-governors block return of feared anti-corruption operative to EFCC

Acting EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu

In what appears to be payback time, top politicians indicted for corruption by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are moving against the re-appointment of Ibrahim Magu as an operative of the commission, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.

Several sources within the commission said Mr. Magu, a chief superintendent of police, who served as head of the Economic Governance Unit (EGU) of the EFCC during the tenure of Nuhu Ribadu as chairman, made several enemies while at the commission, with many of them ensuring he never returns.

“Magu made several enemies while at the EFCC. You know he was the brain behind high profile investigations like Saraki, Odili and others,” a top EFCC source said. He also stated that “many of them have vowed not to let him return to the EFCC.”

Magu, the investigator

Mr. Magu was one of the early recruits into the EFCC by Mr. Ribadu. He is seen by peers as an incorruptible and courageous officer and then made the head of the sensitive EGU, a unit in charge of investigations of senior public officials.

As head of the EGU, some of the investigations Mr. Magu spearheaded include – the role of former Kwara State Governor and serving senator, Bukola Saraki, in the collapse of Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria, and James Ibori, former Governor of Delta State, who was recently convicted for money laundering in the United Kingdom money laundering deal.

But trouble started for the police officer after the controversial removal of Mr. Ribadu as chairman of the commission in December 2007. The new chairman, Farida Waziri, was uncomfortable with his presence doubting his loyalty to her, sources say.

In August 2008, Mr. Magu was accused of illegally keeping case files of top politicians being investigated by the commission. His house in Abuja was searched and his property carted away by operatives of the EFCC acting under the directive of Mrs. Waziri. He was subsequently re-deployed to the police after days of detention with nothing incriminating found against him.

He was later suspended from the police, going without salaries for several months.

EFCC seeks Magu’s return
Following his confirmation as the substantive Chairman of the EFCC, PREMIUM TIMES learnt that Ibrahim Lamorde made the return of Mr. Magu to the EFCC a top priority. Both men had worked together at the commission when Mr. Lamorde served as head of operations of the agency.

In a letter to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) on March 19, 2012, and titled “Re: Postings/Transfer and secondments of police officers to the EFCC,” Mr. Lamorde put Mr. Magu as top on the list of police officers he wanted to be deployed to the EFCC.

But when the police boss was to confirm the deployment of the officers, Mr. Magu’s name was conspicuously absent.

We did not bow to pressure
While senior officials in the EFCC and the police believe Mr. Magu is being witch-hunted for his past roles in the commission, police spokesman, Frank Mba, says the IGP did no wrong in the deployment.

“The IGP can execute his discretion in any way he decides in the overall interest of the force,” Mr. Mba said.

Mr. Mba denied that the police boss bowed to political pressure in not deploying Mr. Magu to the EFCC saying, “if you have any evidence to show that the IGP has bowed to pressure, show us your evidence.”

Presidency intervenes
The EFCC may soon get its dear anti-corruption fighter as sources at the police headquarters informed PREMIUM TIMES that President Goodluck Jonathan has intervened in Mr. Magu’s case.

“The President has directed that the police co-operate with the EFCC by releasing any police official the commission needs to strengthen itself,” our source said.

Following the Presidents intervention, it is expected that Mr. Magu would be released to the EFCC, a development, PREMIUM TIMES learnt, is a major source of relief to Mr. Lamorde.

“Chairman (Mr. Lamorde) believes he needs men like Magu to work with him. I’m sure it will make their (EFCCs) work more efficient,” our source said.


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  • so no any other officer out of over 370,000.00 police is competent to work there except magu.something is wrong somewhere and stop deceiving yourself.

    • Ladidanladidi

      Those that were previously sent there refused to proove themselves worthy of the fight! If i identify capable hands that would make my work efficient, why should i accept second fiddles or mediocres?

    • Tonydykesuzie

      @yahoo notin wrong if the efcc chairman wants magu back..base on his record he deserves to be posted back there…

    • Jelily

      Maybe you can watch the movie “THE UNTOUCHABLES” .

  • Bobbomodire

    STORY STORY , EFCC REMAIN TOOTHLESS BULLDOG PERIOD!

  • Alkamawa

    If I remember correctly Magu was once arrested and his laptop confiscated. There use to be a time when the place to go for any breaking news concerning Nigeria was a site called elendu reports, at the time a certain reporter was working for them however since he left and started his own site the popularity of the site declined. The new site however became famous for Breaking News to the extent that anything that happens inside the Villa during Yar’adua’s regime was reported on this new site. Many of us today remember some of the measures taken to curb this leaks which included the swearing of an oath by all civil servants working in the villa. About this time is when Magu was arrested and his laptop confiscated. I do not think he is coming back because he is feared as the story is suggesting, I think there are other links which can not be explained.

  • Woleadeyemi

    THE GOOD THING THAT CAN HAPPEN TO THIS COUNTRY FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION IS FOR BUKOLA SARAKI TO BE PROPERLY TRIED FOR DECADES OF FRAUD RUNNING IN HIS FAMILY.

  • bonifacejoe

    Discretion or not need any body tell the IGP that such a fine Officer should be seconded to the EFCC for special task?. In most cases,we do not practice what we preach. IGP, it is for national interest that you repost Mr. Magu to EFCC.

  • Nonyerem

    What use is prescription glasses to the blind if he cannot see with them. So, even if Magu is to be recalled to EFCC ; he would not be as effective as he was before. Besides the Jonathan presidency is not in the business of fighting corruption. He is just paying lip service to the war on so called corruption. If the president and his attorney general really want to fight corruption, first, Adeoke should recuse himself from any cases EFCC is handling. Because EFCC is more of a special prosecutor organization and should be given every tool necessary to prosecute the war on corruption. The Jonathan administration has failed us.