Former acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu has responded to several allegations levied against him by the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
A Presidency source told Vanguard Online that Magu may not be released from detention until he responds satisfactorily to all allegations against him.
However, Vanguard Online gathered that frantic efforts made so far by highly-placed persons from various parts of the country close to Magu to seek soft landing for him have failed, as the Presidency is said to have insisted on carrying out a thorough investigation.
The Justice Ayo Salami-led Presidential panel asked that he respond to all allegations levied against him.
Responding to the allegations made against him by the Department of State Service, DSS, under Lawal Daura, in a letter addressed to the AGF, dated December 21, 2016, the EFCC chief, Ibrahim Magu, had said:
“I most respectfully refer to your letter referenced HAGF/EFCC/2016/Vol.1/23 dated 19th December 2016, asking me to respond within 48 hours to the allegations contained in a report written by the Department of State Service, DSS, and which provided the basis for the non-consideration of my confirmation on December 15, 2016, by the Senate.
“Having carefully considered all the issues, I hereby present a point-by-point response as follows”
Missing EFCC files
“It is true that my residence was searched on the orders of Mrs. Farida Waziri, shortly after she succeeded Mallam Nuhu Ribadu as Chairman of the EFCC and some documents relating to cases under investigation were found in my house.
“At the time of the raid, I was yet to formally hand over to my successor, Umar Sanda, as head of the Economic Governance Unit. “My schedule at the time warranted that I work round the clock and it was impossible to conclude all assignments without working at home.
“The documents found in my house were actually found in my office bag where I kept documents relating to investigations. “I was in the process of handing over and it would be wrong to suggest that I willfully kept the Commission’s files at home.
“Nevertheless, the incident was thoroughly investigated by the Police as I was placed on suspension without pay for 20 months. But in the end, I was reprimanded, recalled, and promoted to Assistant Commissioner of Police.
“It is important sir, to draw your attention to the fact that some of us that worked closely with Ribadu was victimized after his exit. And my ordeal was orchestrated as punishment for being the chief investigative officer for most of the high-profile cases involving politically exposed persons, some of whom became very influential in government at the time.
Return to EFCC under Lamorde
“I was Assistant Commissioner of Police in Charge of Operations at the Anambra State Police Command when I was recalled to the EFCC in 2012.
“I did not lobby to return to the EFCC. It is preposterous for anyone to suggest that I was recalled to do a hatchet job for Lamorde as alleged in the DSS Report.
“My job schedule as Deputy Director, Department of Internal Affairs, under Lamorde, was simply handling issues of professional responsibility in the Commission. I had no inputs in core operations duties of the Commission.”
Tenancy of official residence
“I live in the official residence of the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). This accommodation, contrary to the report of the DSS, is not my private home, neither was it rented and furnished for me by Commodore Umar Mohammed (rtd).
“It was rented and furnished by the Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory through the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, under the Safe House Scheme.
“It is also false that the house was rented for N20million per annum and furnished for N43million. The entire cost for both two-year rent and the furnishing of the house is N39.628million. Details of the transaction are contained in the contract award letter and payment schedule which are attached to this letter.”
Expensive air travels
“Honourable Minister, the claim that I have a penchant for expensive air travels in a private jet belonging to Commodore Mohammed is baseless
“The two times I can recall travelling in Commodore Umar’s aircraft were on a trip from Kano to Abuja, and Abuja to Maiduguri. In the first instance, I had gone to Kano on an official assignment with two of my directors, and Mohammed who was on his way back to Abuja offered us a ride in his jet.
“The second occasion was when I was going to see my sick mother in Maiduguri. These, for me, were harmless gestures as we were both members of the presidential investigative committee on arms procurement.”
High profile/dual lifestyle
“The allegation that I live a flamboyant lifestyle is also surprising to me. While it is true that I did travel first class on Emirates Airlines to Saudi Arabia for Umrah, this action to the best of my knowledge did not contravene the directive of Mr. President on First Class travels as suggested by the DSS Report.
“My trip to Saudi Arabia was a private journey to perform my religious obligation and it was not financed with public funds. More importantly, my decision to fly first class was not borne out of the quest for luxury but compelled by necessity.”
“The trip was made during the last ten days of Ramadan and other classes of tickets were not available. I had no other choice. That I flew first class in one instance is not enough evidence to suggest an extravagant lifestyle as alleged by the DSS Report. It is also not enough to suggest a dual personality.
“Anyone that has associated closely with me will attest to the fact that I am not known for ostentatious living. And my new office as acting chairman of the EFCC has not changed this.”
Relationship with Commodore Mohammed Umar, rtd
“Sir, it is important to situate my relationship with Commodore Mohammed Umar (rtd), in proper perspective. Our paths crossed when we became members of the Presidential Committee on the investigation on arms procurement.
“He was instrumental in getting some of the information that helped the committee make significant breakthroughs in its assignment.
“Beyond that, the relationship between Umar and myself is one of professional acquaintance, devoid of issues of conflict of interest.
“So, it comes to me with shock, the imputation by the DSS that we have a “mutually beneficial relationship”.
“This appears suggestive that Mohammed and I were involved in activities that could be said to be untoward. I certainly have no knowledge of such activities.
“The claim that EFCC documents, including EFCC letters, addressed to the Vice President and being investigation reports on the activities of Emmanuel Kachikwu and his brother Dumebi Kachikwu, were found in his home during a search by the DSS came to me as a surprise.
“If that is correct, he should be made to disclose how he came by such documents. I never discussed my official duties with him let alone give him documents pertaining to investigations being conducted by the commission.
“Interestingly, Mohammed was detained for several months by the DSS. In all those months, did he claim that I mandated him to commit any crime or that I was an accomplice to any crime? If there is any such claim, I will wholeheartedly like to be confronted with the allegation.
“It is interesting to note that when Mohammed was eventually charged to court, the charges against him were money laundering and illegal possession of firearms, and nothing related to my purported “shady” relationship with him.”
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