TVC E. Barely one month after the Senate rejected the confirmation of Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu as the substantive Chairman, strong indications emerged yesterday that President Muhammadu Buhari has written to the upper chambers through the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki for U- turn on the earlier decision.
It was gathered yesterday that President Buhari has also written to the Senate to reconsider the case of the embattled Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Babachir Lawal Magu and Babachir In the letter concerning Magu, President Buhari has written that the Senate should confirm him. Buhari’s letter which a source said would be read today at the chambers, was in response to the communication from the Senate on the rejection of Magu as EFCC chairman. The source said, “yes, Iam aware that the President has written to the Senate asking that Ibrahim Magu’s case should be reconsidered and he also wrote on the SGF, Babachir Lawal.
The letter may be read tomorrow.” It would be recalled that the Senate had on December 15, 2016, rejected the confirmation of acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu as a substantive chairman of the commission following what the upper chambers described as very damming report from the Department of State Security Service, DSS.
According to the Senate, there was no way Magu could be confirmed because of the security report by the DSS as the report was not palatable fir such an exalted position especially during an administration with fight against corruption as its major agenda, just as it asked President Muhammadu Buhari who nominated him to immediately replace him with another name. The Senate however gave approval for the nomination of four members of the board of the commission, whose names were sent along side that of Magu and they were referred to the Senator Chukwuka Utazi led Senate Committee on Anti- corruption and Financial Crimes. Addressing Journalists after after a closed-door session by the Senate which lasted about three hours, Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi said that the rejection was based on security reason. Senator Abdullahi’s statement had read thus, This is an officially statement from the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
It’s the statement on confirmation of the nomination of Chairman and members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria wishes to inform the general public that based on security reports available to the Senate, the Senate cannot proceed and confirm the nomination of Ibrahim Magu Mustapha as the Executive Chairman of EFCC. Accordingly, the Senate hereby rejects the said nomination and has returned the said nomination to Mr President for further action.
“There’s no confusion here, we have said it’s based on security reports. Please, all of us public officers go for security screening. Everybody. And we are saying based on security reports, we cannot proceed and confirm and we are rejecting it and returning it back to Mr President for further actions, that’s just the statement. It’s as simple as that. That’s exactly what the Senate has said and I don’t have any other explanation more than this.”
It was gathered that in the report which was read on the floor of the Senate by Senate President Bukola Saraki, the Acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu was accused of renting a house for N43 million with N20 million paid annually, just as the report said that the money for the rent was not settled by the commission, but by a retired Air Commodore in the Airforce, Umar Mohammed, now a businessman who has been arrested by the commission for some questionable transactions. According to the report dated 3rd October, addressed to the Acting Clerk of the Senate and titled, ”
Re: Request for Security Vetting your letter NASS/CS/SA/01/16/08/1 dated 21st September, 2016 requesting for the vetting of the Chairman and members of the EFCC refers” , the report indicted Magu saying he furnished a house at the cost of N43 million. He was also accused of violating the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari who asked that no public officer should travel in first class, but Magu was said to be maintaining a flamboyant life style where on 24 th June, 2016, he flew Emirate Airlines first class to Saudi Arabia on Lesser Hajj at the cost of N2,990,196.00.
In the report, it was indicated that following the discovery of some sensitive documents with Magu during Farida Waxiti, he was suspended from the Police force, just as the police Service Commission in December 2010 found him guilty. The report said, ” however, investigating the Chairman nominee, Ibrahim Magu revealed that in August 2008 following a search at his residence during the tenure of Farida Waxiti, AIG rtd as a Commissioner, some sensitive EFCC documents which were not supposed to be at his disposal were with him.
He was subsequently redeployed to the police after days of detention and later suspended from the force. In December 2010, the Police Service Commission found Magu guilty of action prejudicial to State Security withholding of EFCC files, sabotage unauthorized removal of EFCC files and acts unbecoming of a police officer and awarded him severe reprimand as punishment. ” Not with standing, sequel to the appointment of Lamorde as Chairman of EFCC in 2011, he made the return of Magu to the EFCC a top priority.
Both men had worked together at the Commission when Lamorde served as head of operations of the agency, Magu remained a top official of the Commission until he was appointed to succeed Lamorde. ” Magu is currently occupying a residence rented for N40 million at N20 million per annum.
This accommodation was not paid for from the Commission finances, but by one Umar Mohammed, Air Commodore rtd, a questionable businessman and ally of subject who has subsequently been arrested by his service for furnishing of the residence, Mohammed enlisted the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA to award a contract to Africa Energy, a company owned by the same Mohammed to lavishly furnish the residence at the cost of N43 million.