President Muhammadu Buhari has affirmed the suspension of Mr Ibrahim Magu as acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Magu’s suspension by the President, which takes immediate effect, was announced on Friday in a statement from the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
The minister’s Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Umar Gwandu, who signed the statement explained that the presidential directive was to allow for an unhindered inquiry by the Presidential Investigation Panel under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act and other relevant laws.
He revealed that President Buhari has directed the EFCC Director of Operations, Mohammed Umar, to take charge and oversee the activities of the commission.
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According to Gwandu, Umar will oversee EFCC’s activities pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation and further directives in that regard.
Fourth Night In Custody
The presidential panel is investigating the activities of the anti-graft agency under the leadership of Magu, who has been in police detention since Monday.
This follows the allegations of misconduct levelled against him by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, was said to have written to President Buhari, demanding the removal of Magu as the acting chairman of the anti-graft agency.
The presidential panel had invited the suspended EFCC boss on Monday while he was on his way to the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
The Opposition’s Demand
While the EFCC said Magu was going to the Police Headquarters “for a meeting,” the presidential panel was said to have extended its probe into properties alleged to have been acquired by the suspended EFCC boss in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
A team of security officials reportedly searched Magu’s homes on Tuesday in Abuja and were said to have left with some documents.
It was, however, not confirmed if anything incriminating was found during the search.
In its reaction, the Presidency stated that Magu’s probe reinforced the commitment of the Buhari administration to transparency and accountability.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on its part, called on President Buhari to show the genuineness of his war against corruption by allowing the unhindered investigation of the suspended EFCC boss.
It also demanded a transparent investigation and advised the President to direct relevant agencies to commence actions that would lead to Magu’s prosecution, if found guilty of the allegations.