SaharaReporters has learned that the report carried by several newspapers and blogs claiming President Muhammadu Buhari had sacked Ibrahim Magu as the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was untrue.
Saharareporters spoke earlier today with Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and he denied claims by various publications that he had directed Mr. Magu to hand over the affairs of the anti-corruption body to the EFCC’s director of operations. Also, a senior source at Nigeria Police headquarters in Abuja told SaharaReporters that media reports to the effect that Mr. Magu had been redeployed were false.
However, Mr. Malami disclosed that he had submitted to President Buhari the report of an investigation into allegations made by Lawan Daura, the Director General of the Directorate of State Services (DSS), against Mr. Magu.
Mr. Magu, who investigated and helped launch a prosecution of Senate President Bukola Saraki for falsifying his asset declarations, has faced reprisal from senators as well as some members of Mr. Buhari’s inner circles determined to thwart his confirmation as chair of the anti-corruption agency. Early December, senators refused to screen him for confirmation, citing a DSS report that claimed Mr. Magu had ties to a target of graft investigations and had benefited financially from such ties. The controversial roadblock by senators came a day before the Senate recessed for Christmas vacation.
SaharaReporters had in several reports revealed that a cabal at the Presidency was behind maneuvers to remove Mr. Magu from the EFCC. The cabal, which includes Chief of Staff Abba Kyari, Mr. Daura of the DSS, and Mr. Malami, has unsuccessfully tried to stop the prosecution of Senator Saraki as well as other major corruption suspects, among them oil tycoon Jide Omokore. Mr. Omokore’s Atlantic Energy was deeply involved in fraudulent oil swap deals approved by former Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison Madueke, who fled to the UK just before Mr. Buhari came to office.
SaharaReporters learned that members of the cabal at the Presidency were behind the rumors that President Buhari had sacked Mr. Magu.
Speaking to our reporter, Nigeria’s Attorney General, Mr. Malami, said he suspected that the news reports were being used to pre-empt his report to the President. He, however, declined to disclose whether his report was in favor or against Mr. Magu.
However, two sources at the Presidency told SaharaReporters that Mr. Malami, Mr. Kyari, and Mr. Daura had begun headhunting for a new EFCC acting chairman. Our sources said the two prominent names being considered by the cabal to replace Mr. Magu are one Abdulrahman and a retired Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), Sotonye Wakama.