The presidential panel probing the suspended EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu, has ordered the withdrawal of several police officers working at the commission, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
The EFCC, an agency that investigates financial crimes, usually writes to the Inspector General of Police requesting for officers for most of its operations. Many of them occupy senior positions at the commission while others serve as security details and investigators.
According to a top official who asked not to be mentioned because he is not allowed to speak to journalists, about 20 zonal heads and sectional heads were asked to be withdrawn from the commission back to the police force on Monday.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that, on the panel’s directives, a letter was issued to that effect on Wednesday.
“The instructions are that all zonal heads and sectional heads who are police officers have been asked to move back to base,” the source said. “It is the panel that directed the EFCC acting chairman to write to the police requesting that they change (send) all the senior officers who are sectional heads and zonal heads back to the police.
“The affected people have been issued with letters and they were directed to report to police force secretary on Monday.”
PREMIUM TIMES also learnt from multiple sources at the commission that other key officers of the EFCC who are considered to be close to Mr Magu were issued suspension letters.
PREMIUM TIMES is yet to independently verify this claim.
“About 10 days ago, they issued suspension letters to some directors and other key officers of the EFCC who are considered to be close to the suspended anti-graft boss,” the source said.
Efforts to reach the EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, were unsuccessful. He did not respond to calls and text messages sent to his known phone number.
Mr Magu is currently being investigated by a panel headed by Ayo Salami, former president of the appeal court, over allegations of graft and insubordination levelled against him by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
Mr Magu was detained for 10 days before his release.
After his arrest, allegations that he diverted billions of naira of recovered funds as well as the interests accruing from the funds circulated in the media.
Mr Magu has repeatedly denied and described the allegations levelled against him as baseless.
Phone calls to Frank Mba, the police spokesperson, were unsuccessful as his line was switched off.