Suspended EFCC chairman, Magu granted bail as National Assembly Clerk rejects retirement by commission | Samuel Ndụbụisi Ezegbunam | Nigeria:
The suspended acting chairman of the anti-graft agency of the commission of the economic and financial crime, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu as of recent has been granted bail after spending nine days in the custody of the department of state services, DSS.
While being interviewed, a family member of the suspended chairman who pleaded anonymity informed newsmen that Mr. Magu arrived at his residence at around 5:00 pm in the Maitama District of the Nigerian capital, Abuja. However, it is yet to be known as to whether Mr. Magu has concluded his appearance before the presidential panel set up for probing corrupt public officeholders.
Last week Monday, July 7th, 2020, Mr. Ibrahim Magu was arrested by the department of state services, DSS over alleged involvement in corruption and insubordination levied against him by the Nigerian Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami. Magu after the arrest taking to the presidential Villa where he appeared before a presidential panel investigating the said allegations against him.
Due to his alleged involvement in crimes and subsequent arrest, Mr. Magu was on 11th July 2020 suspended from office by the president of the federal republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr. Magu was subsequently suspended together with two other suspected EFCC officials. The presidency replaced the acting EFCC chairman, Mr. Magu with Mohammed Umar, the EFCC’s director of operations, as the incumbent head of the anti-graft agency of the commission of the economic and financial crime.
The suspension of Mr. Magu, acting EFCC chairman affected other officials as it was learned that the EFCC secretary, Olanipekun Olukoyede together with some unit heads at the EFCC headquarters in the country’s capital territory, Abuja were suspended.
Speaking to newsmen, one of the affected EFCC officials who pleaded anonymity expressed shock, “I wrote and sent in my heading over notes yesterday (Tuesday)”, one of the affected officials said.
Magu’s release was officially confirmed by his lawyer, Tosin Ojaomo who revealed that his client, Magu is no longer under detention.
During the early hours of Wednesday, 15th July 2020, Mohammed Adamu, the inspector general of police, asked Magu who pleaded freedom to direct his bail application to the presidential probe panel investigating his allegations. The statement which was made by the inspector-general as a reply to a request by Magu’s legal representative, Oluwatasin Ojaomo, pleaded with the IGP to Grant bail to his client on self recognizance.
“It is untrue as reported that some dollars and expensive jewelry and wristwatches were found. Our client states that the search into his house did not reveal any incriminating evidence or materials. The cars removed from his residence we are official vehicles assigned to our client as acting chairman.
“Our client is spending the 9th day in custody without being given a copy of the allegations against him to enable him to formally respond to the same. Our client is ready to formally respond to allegations and furnish documentary evidence in support if served with a copy of the allegations.
“Our client respectfully demands the following: (a) a copy of the report of the presidential audit committee; (b) a copy of the memo of the HAGF to the president on our client; (c) individual petitions submitted to the panel against our client.
“our client observes that rather than being afforded copies of the allegations against him, some of these allegations are flying around on social media platforms with prejudicial consequences. Our client’s request that they are allegations be formerly served on him to enable him to respond immediately. Based on the above circumstances, our client was not given adequate time and facilities for his defense and his demand for a copy of the allegations honored against him has not been a date.
“We appeal to the honorable panel to consider the above and uphold the fundamental rights to fair hearing of our client. Kindly find attached copy of these newspapers for ease of reference, please accept our best professional regards”, the statement.
The Inspector-General of police advised his lawyer to redirect his request to the responsible authorities. His request was thus directed towards the presidential panel for further action which subsequently ensured the release of Magu yesterday, July 15th, 2020.
The inspector general of police, Muhammed Adamu, in a letter which was signed and sent by his principal staff officer, DCP Idowu Owonuwa while speaking on Magu’s detention dated Thursday, 14th July 2020 reads, “the inspector general of police direct that your attention be drawn to the fact that the Nigeria police force is not investigating CP Ibrahim Magu (your client and he is accordingly not being detained by the police but by the presidential panel that is investigating the activities of the economic and financial crimes commission, EFCC.
“The inspector general of police, therefore advises that you consider redirecting your request to the chairman of the presidential panel for appropriate attention. I am to convert the assurances of the warmest regards of the inspector general of police, please”, the letter.
The suspended economic and financial crimes commission, EFCC chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu after his release during the late hours of Wednesday, July 15, 2020, has shocked Nigerians after he revealed his stance against corruption and the allegations leveled against him.
The suspended chairman while speaking with newsmen during the early hours of Thursday, July 16 2020 revealed that he would continue waging war against corruption in the country as he noted that corruption undoubtedly kills Nations faster than anything.
He further revealed how ready and dedicated he is in the fight against the worst killer of a nation maintaining that he would continue fighting corruption even if the post of chairman of the economic and financial crimes commission, EFCC is taken away from him.
He said, “Nigerians must own the war against corruption which President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to eradicate. As for me, I will forever wage war against corruption. I urged Nigerians to continue to support the fight against corruption, they should not give up on the fight because corruption kills a nation faster than any other thing.
“It is not a personal fight. Whether I am the EFCC chairman or not, the anti-corruption war must continue”, Mr. Magu revealed.
Mr. Magu was on July 6th, 2020, arrested by the department of state services, DSS over alleged involvement in corrupt practices and insubordination leveled against him by the minister of Justice of the federal republic of Nigeria.
Reacting to the allegation, Mr. Magu expressed shock while looking at all the allegations leveled against him. He maintained that the allegations were only used as a tool aimed at tarnishing his image. Mr. Magu revealed that all the allegations and nonsense as he claimed that he had never and did not steal public, Nigeria funds to his personal use.
He said, “what I have gone through is a case of dog eat dog but I see it as one of those risks of the job. We must not give up”, he said.
Speaking to a reporter on the allegations leveled against him, he said, “they are nonsense, they are men trumped of allegations to tarnish my image and that of the EFCC. I did not steal or divert or convert funds to private use. I read the allegations and I was shocked.
Mr. Magu further thanked Nigerians who stood by him during his detention while urging them to continue fighting corruption in their little way and not be discouraged. “I think Nigerians for their support, they should not be discouraged. I am happy to be back, I believe the war against corruption is winnable”, he added.
Mr. Magu revealed that his house was thoroughly searched on Monday noting that nothing incriminating was found. He told newsmen that all the allegations leveled against him in the media are false and were aimed at tarnishing his stellar performance in discharging his functions.
Mr. Magu in his letter alleged “publication prejudicial to the proceedings”.
He noted that he was only being maligned in the media on an allegation that was not before the presidential investigative panel. He maintained that the matter was never featured in the proceedings of the committee.
National Assembly Clerk rejects retirement by commission:
The national assembly service commission on Wednesday issued a statement in which it announced Sani-Omolori’s retirement with 151 other members.
This statement was made after Alhaji Mohammed Sani-Omolori pleaded with the clerk of the national assembly, CNA to elongate his tenure in office. Sani-Omolori and 151 others, including the secretary of the national assembly service commission, NASC, Mr. Olusanya Ajakaiye.
The national assembly service commission due to this development announced that workers who had attained the retirement age of 35 years in service or 60 years of age should retire. The commission further revealed that the workers that fall in the said age range should get ready to receive their retirement letter.
This statement by the commission was made on Wednesday, July 15th, 2020, with the title inscribed on it: The national assembly service commission approves the retirement age for the staff of the national assembly service has 35 years of service or 60 years of age, whichever comes first.
The statement which was signed by the executive chairman of the commission, Ahmed Kadi Amshi, reads “pursuant to its mandate as provided for in the national assembly service commission act 2014 (as amended), the national assembly service commission, at its 497th meeting held on Wednesday, July 15th 2020, has approved the retirement age for the workers of the national assembly service commission at 35 years of service or 60 years of age, whichever comes first.
“To this effect, the commission has approved the immediate retirement of workers of the national assembly service who have already attained the retirement age of 35 years of service or 60 years of age. Retirement letters would be issued to the affected workers accordingly”, the statement said.
Sani-Omolori who was against the statement as it affected him directly told the affected members to ignore the statements being made by the commission. He said, “the attention of the national assembly management has been drawn to a statement, by day chairman of the national assembly service commission, dated July 15th, 2020, informing the general public that the commission had approved the retirement age of workers of the national assembly has 35 years of service or 60 years of age, whichever comes first.
“The management of the national assembly wishes to inform all workers and the general public that the extant regulation, as contained in our revised conditions of service, duly passed by both chambers of the eighth national assembly, put the Retirement age of workers at 40 years of service and 65 years of age, whichever comes first.
“The resolution of the eighth national assembly on the conditions of service of workers has not been in rescinded nor addicted by the national assembly, which under the authentic national assembly service act 2014, as passed, is empowered to reveal any proposed amendments to the conditions of service by the commission.
“Therefore, the national assembly service commission does not have the powers to set aside the revised conditions of service as passed by the 8th national assembly”, Sani-Omolori countered the statement.