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Police IG Detain Former EFCC officer, Ibrahim Magu, Okiro's hidden Multi-Million Naira Shopping Plaza in Utako District Cited.

August 4, 2008
Saharareporters, New York

The harassment of former EFCC investigator and former head of the Economic Governance unit of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) moved into a new phase on Monday with his arrest, on the orders of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mike Okiro. 

As Saharareporters reported last week, Magu had been targeted for harassment by the EFCC chairperson, Mrs. Farida Waziri.  His houses in Lagos and Abuja were ransacked by EFCC teams who claimed they were in search of documents relating to "high profile" cases involving former governors being investigated by the EFCC.  

Saharareporters however exposed the real motive behind the harassment of Magu: a personal vendetta by Mrs Waziri, who had claimed in an exclusive  interview granted Newswatch that Magu and former acting EFCC chairperson, Ibrahim Lamorde tricked her into signing a bail bond for the ex-governor of her home state of Benue, George Akume.

Sources at the EFCC told Saharareporters that Mrs. Waziri had wanted to arrest and detain Magu since last week but could find no justification for doing so under the EFCC Act, and thus contracted the IG of Police to, Mike Okiro to do the dirty job.

To coax Okiro to arrest Magu, Mrs. Waziri reportedly claimed that Magu and some unnamed EFCC officials had commenced a high level investigation into the business interests of the Inspector General of Police and his wife. According to the source, Mrs. Waziri told the IG that the EFCC had recovered reports from Magu regarding a shopping plaza owned by Mr. Okiro and his family in the Utako district of Abuja, just a few kilometers from the scene of the collapsed shopping mall earlier linked to James Ibori.

While the reports linking Magu to the shopping plaza investigations may have been made up to get the IG to take the former EFCC chief into custody, Saharareporters  learnt that the extensive business interests of Inspector General Okiro have been an open secret at Police Headquarters for sometime.

A source at Police Headquarters who didn't want to be named for fear of reprisals, told Saharareporters that Okiro and his wife own a sprawling shopping mall at Utako and another hotel in Lugbe area of Abuja.  "It is unfortunate that Magu has become a pawn in this game, everyone here knows that the IG is Ibori's business partner", he said.

 Since being detained yesterday, police sources told Saharareporters that Magu has yet to be interrogated or told his offence. Efforts to reach the Force Public Relations officer, Akpoebi Akperebi were unsuccessful as at the time of publishing this report.

Last week, Saharareporters reported the two-pronged raid on the Abuja and Lagos homes of Magu, who is now a Chief Superintendent of Police in Ado-Ekiti.  The raids took place while he was at his new duty post, and the EFCC officials removed, among others, an official weapon, documents, a laptop computer and a digital storage device.  

Also last week, our source predicted the arrest and detention of Magu, to be followed by trumped-up charges.  Underscoring James Ibori’s involvement in the matter, our source at the EFCC drew attention to a story in Ibori’s Daily Independent newspaper.  

Written by the newspaper’s assistant editor, Olusola Balogun, it carried the screaming headline: “More Files Missing In EFCC”.  Our source predicted that that story contained the justification for the raid on Magu’s house and prepared the grounds for his arrest.   

During his tenure as Head of the Governance Unit of the EFCC, Magu developed a reputation as a no-nonsense anti-corruption investigator of the high and mighty.

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