Magu’s travails, revised 2020 budget top political stories last week

Suspended EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu
Suspended EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu

As the presidential panel investigating the suspended chairman of the anti-graft agency, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, continues to sit, Mr Magu has spent nearly a week in detention without bail.

Mr Magu, 58, was arrested in Abuja by a team of police officers, on Monday. He was taken to the State House to appear before the Justice Ayo Salami-led presidential investigative committee.

The panel was set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate allegations of corruption and insubordination against him. The allegations against him were made by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami. Both men have had a running battle since Mr Magu’s appointment in 2015.

A day after Mr Magu was arrested, he was suspended from office, according to multiple sources briefed on the matter. His suspension was, however, not officially confirmed until Friday. On Tuesday, a combined team of police officers and operatives of the State Security Services (SSS) searched Mr Magu’s house in Karu, Abuja. Nothing incriminating was found during the search, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

While Mr Magu was being probed, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo described as “false and baseless fabrications,” allegations by a blogger, Jackson Ude, that he received money from Mr Magu.

Before Mr Magu’s suspension was officially announced, a PREMIUM TIMES review of Section 2(3) of the EFCC Act, showed that Mr Magu’s replacement would have to have “15 years experience as a security operative.”

READ ALSO: EFCC after my properties ‘to annoy me’ – Saraki

Muhammed Umar, the EFCC’s director of operations, was, on Friday confirmed as interim head of the anti-graft agency by President Buhari, pending the conclusion of Mr Magu’s investigation. The statement released by the attorney general’s office, also formally announced Mr Magu’s suspension, saying it was to allow for an unhindered inquiry by the presidential panel.

On the same day, the Inspector General of Police, Muhammed Adamu, ordered the withdrawal of mobile police personnel attached to the EFCC, thus effectively taking over security at the commission.

Revised 2020 budget

While the Magu drama played out, President Buhari, on Friday, signed into law, the revised 2020 budget of N10.8 trillion.

At the signing ceremony, Mr Buhari said the 2020 budget had to be revised because of the effect of coronavirus on the nation’s economy.

According to the revised budget, N422 billion was earmarked for statutory transfers, while N4.9 trillion was for recurrent expenditure. Capital expenditure will take N2.4 trillion while N2.9 trillion, about a quarter of the budget, will be used to service debt. About N500 billion was earmarked as intervention funds for the fight against COVID-19, while the health sector got N186 billion allocation.

Ondo 2020: 17 parties notify INEC for primaries

The electoral commission, INEC, announced that 17 out of the 18 registered political parties notified the commission of their intention to conduct primaries for the Ondo governorship election fixed for October 10.

It said details of the political parties and their primaries have been published on the commission’s website and social media platforms.

For neighbouring Edo State whose governorship election holds on September 19, INEC said 14 political parties conducted primaries and nominated their candidates for the election.

It also reminded parties that going by the timetable and schedule of activities for the election, public campaigns would begin on June 21, and end on September 17.

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