‘Suspended’ Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, is back in the custody of Area 10, Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) of the police in Abuja.
It would be the second night Magu has spent in FCID custody after he was whisked from the entrance to his office in Wuse II on Monday, July 6, in gestapo fashion, and driven to the presidential villa to be grilled by the Justice Ayo Salami-led presidential panel probing him.
Sources tell Pulse that Magu’s private home in the Karu area of Abuja was thoroughly searched by security operatives on Tuesday at about 7pm.
After the search, Magu’s domestic staff were made to sign certain documents, before the operatives drove back to Magu’s official residence in Maitama.
The operatives also searched this official home in Maitama.
One security operative tells Pulse on condition of anonymity that Magu’s personal belongings have been moved out of his office, as the presidency gets set to name his replacement in the coming hours.
Sources at the presidency tell Pulse that Magu will be replaced by the next most senior officer within the ranks of the EFCC.
The next most senior officers in the EFCC are Ola Olukoyede, a Redeemed Christian Church of God Pastor from Ekiti and current secretary of the EFCC; and Mohammed Abba Umar who is the EFCC's director of operations.
The trials of Magu
Appointed acting EFCC Chairman by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015 to succeed Ibrahim Lamorde, 58-year-old Magu from Borno State has twice had his confirmation request turned down by the Nigerian Senate due to allegations bordering on corruption.
Magu has had a running battle with the DSS and Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami for quite some time.
In 2016, the DSS wrote a stinging report accusing Magu of living large in a N40 million mansion, flying in private jets and receiving kickbacks from persons he should be investigating for corruption.
Malami recently sent a petition to President Buhari, accusing Magu of corruption.
Malami urged the president to sack Magu whom he accused of insubordination and diversion of assets recovered by the EFCC from corrupt persons.
The AGF's letter reportedly contained 22 weighty allegations that also included accounting gaps or discrepancies of figures concerning the recovered assets.
After news of his suspension broke on Tuesday, July 7, Pulse put several phone calls across to presidency spokespersons Garba Shehu and Femi Adesina for some kind of confirmation.
Those calls were neither answered nor returned.
Pulse has however learnt that the presidency is now all but set to formally announce Magu’s suspension, following recommendations by the probe panel.
Magu joined the police force as an Assistant Superintendent of Police in 1990.
He served as Coordinator, Nigeria Police Building Society before moving on to the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID).
At the CID, he served as team lead in charge of Financial Crimes, Money Laundering and Advance Fee Fraud investigation.
Magu's recent brush with the law is not his first. On August 4, 2008, Magu was arrested following allegations that the police discovered EFCC files and a computer containing classified documents in his Abuja residence.