Contrary to reports, Ibrahim Magu, has not been relieved of his appointment as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the presidency has said.
The Guardian newspaper quoted an unnamed source as saying Mr. Magu had been asked to vacate his seat by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
Although Mr. Malami could not be reached on phone, officials at the presidency denied the report.
“It is not true,” the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, told PREMIUM TIMES on Saturday.
Mr. Adesina later tweeted, “No truth in the story making the rounds that Magu has been removed as EFCC boss. The AGF is yet to submit his probe report to the President.”
Another Presidency spokesperson, Garba Shehu, dismissed the Guardian story as untrue.
“We are reading reports that the @officialEFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, has been sacked,” Mr. Shehu tweeted Saturday.
“No report has been made available to the Presidency by the Attorney General of the federation over the matter.”
“The report of his sack is therefore speculative and preemptive.”
Close aides of Mr. Magu also said no such directive was received from the Attorney General’s office.
“Guardian Newspaper Lied,” the EFCC said via his twitter handle @officialEFCC. “Magu Not Sacked!”
Months after Mr. Buhari requested the Senate to confirm the acting EFCC boss as substantive chairman of the commission, the legislative body rejected his nomination on December 15.
The Senate cited security reports turned in by the State Security Service, which labelled Mr. Magu corrupt, integrity-challenged and extravagant.
The SSS has two separate security reports – signed by one official, Folashade Bello, and submitted same day – on Mr. Magu.
In one, the SSS wanted Mr. Magu confirmed in view of his exceptional performance in office while saying in the other that he would be a liability to government’s anti-corruption efforts.
However, a fact-check by PREMIUM TIMES showed the allegations against the EFCC boss were inaccurate and false.
Messrs. Magu and Malami were said to have met on Friday to fine-tune case files on an urgent matter asked to be investigated by Mr. Buhari.
However, multiple sources at the presidency and the AGF’s office told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr. Malami on Friday made effort to submit a report to President Buhari.
The report was in response to the president’s directive that Mr. Malami investigate allegations of corruption levelled against Mr. Magu by the State Security Service, SSS.
“He (Mr. Malami) was rebuffed by the president when he tried to submit the report,” a source at the presidency told PREMIUM TIMES. “He was asked to submit the report to Vice President Osinbajo.
“Instead, the president gave him further instructions on some fresh assignments to be carried out jointly by him and Magu.”