Suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has taken a swipe at Nigeria's Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, accusing him of always interfering with the agency's investigations and working with others to strip it of its statutory powers.
Magu in a 44-page document titled “RD: Alleged Case Of Conspiracy Enrichment Abuse Of Public Office And Other Infractions” written to the Justice Ayo Salami-led Presidential panel investigating allegations of corruption against him, said that the complaints against him were fabricated and targeted at tarnishing his image and the credibility of the EFCC.
The 58-year-old, who was released on Wednesday after 10 days in detention following his arrest by a combined team of Department of State Services and policemen in Abuja on July 6 to answer questions from the panel, said that the entire saga was a well-orchestrated plot by his traducers to rubbish him for exposing corruption in high places.
He said, “In several cases under investigation, recovery and management of assets, the office of the AGF has either interfered with the process or has been less cooperative and supportive.
“Also, the laidback approach of the office of the AGF in particular in cases of extradition has not been helpful.
“Rather than strengthening the institutional capacity of the commission and the provisions of section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006, the commission and its enabling statutes have been subjected to numerous attacks and blackmails majorly aimed at whittling down the powers of the commission.
“The Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations 2019, made by the AGF without the intervention of the National Assembly, seeks to divest the commission of its statutory powers to trace, recover and institute non-conviction based forfeiture proceedings in court."
As part of the ongoing probe over the agency’s activities under Magu, the Presidency on Tuesday suspended 12 directors of the EFCC including those investigating Malami for alleged corruption.
“These staff were never interrogated or interviewed until their suspension on Tuesday,” a source said.
Observers of events say that for the anti-corruption fight of the President Muhammadu Buhari's administration to make sense to the populace, influential figures like Malami must not be left out of scrutiny.