The leaked report of the State Security Service to the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has vindicated the Senate on its repeated rejection of Ibrahim Magu as substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, its spokesperson said.
The SSS report, leaked on Friday, was a response to Mr. Malami’s request that the security agency back its earlier allegations of integrity deficiency against Mr. Magu with documented evidence.
According to the report, the SSS dispatched 12 documents to Mr. Malami, including 11 that tried to link Mr. Magu with Mohammed Umar, a retired air commodore on trial for money laundering and illicit possession of firearms, and one on how he was “severely reprimanded” by the police after official documents of the EFCC were found in his private residence.
Based on the report, the Senate spokesperson, Aliyu Abdullahi, in a statement over the weekend, said the legislative body had vindicated.
“Following several calls made to me today by journalists seeking my comments on the leaked report on Mr. Ibrahim Magu which was more damning than the one submitted to us, I can only say that myself and my colleagues have been vindicated,” Mr. Abdullahi said.
The Senate had twice rejected Mr. Magu’s nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari. Last December, his rejection was announced after a Senate closed-door session, citing a security report from the SSS. But President Buhari re-nominated the acting EFCC Chairman and absolved him of culpability in respect of the SSS allegations.
But during his confirmation hearing, following the re-nomination, Mr. Magu had a below-par performance while another SSS report, reaffirming earlier position that he should not be confirmed because he is allegedly integrity-challenged, was raised by Dino Melaye. Therefore, the Senate declined confirmation.
“From that report which is now public, it is obvious the DG SSS even tried to give Magu soft landing in the report that was sent to the Senate. The recent report is messier and shows that our decision not to confirm his nomination was right,” the Senate spokesperson said.
“We therefore call on all Nigerians to continue to have full confidence and trust on the Nigerian Senate as it discharges its responsibilities according to the letter and spirit of the Nigerian constitution.”
In the letter to Mr. Malami, the SSS said: “An officer appointed as Ag. Chairman of EFCC should by all means be one of impeccable credentials, with proven integrity and capacity to lead the nation’s fight against graft in high and low places. Thus far, it is evident from MAGU’s antecedents that he is by no means that kind of
“His relationship with Umar MOHAMMED which involved disclosure of very sensitive and classified official documents in his possession shows lack of professionalism and assails his integrity. Moreso, for an officer who was indicted and nearly dismissed six (6) years ago, to again be involved in similar circumstances, it is clear that MAGU is a perennial offender and cannot change.
“Also worthy of note is the fact that MAGU exhibited a total lack of judgment where it matters most. He accepted to move into a tastily furnished accommodation without any scrutiny of how it was furnished. This is curious and speaks volumes of his personality.”
But Mr. Magu responded to the allegations against him, refuting the allegations and saying the SSS is integrity-challenged.
In its report, the SSS also accused Mr. Magu of victimising a Stanley Lawson.
“A further demonstration of MAGU’s questionable credibility as an untainted anti-corruption official is his failed bid to settle personal scores with one Stanley Inye LAWSON by placing him on Security Watch Action. It was however discovered that LAWSON was actually working in the interest of the Federal Government and the Action was subsequently expunged.”
A PREMIUM TIMES report, however, found that not only was Mr. Lawson linked to a fraudulent deal, he returned his share of the loot believed to have been stolen by former petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.