By Adnan Tudunwada
Contrary to media reports that the State Security Service, SSS, fabricated a security report against the acting chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, a trove of exclusive documents obtained by Daily Nigerian have shown that the service was actually right in its claims.
Acting on the indicting security report, the Nigerian Senate on Thursday rejected the confirmation of Mr. Magu as substantive chairman of the EFCC on the strength of accusations contained therein.
Documents obtained by Daily Nigerian as well as some inside reports concurred with the issues raised by SSS, and also indicated that ex-Air Force officer Mohammed Umar was deeply involved in Mr. Magu’s private and official life since his appointment as acting EFCC chairman.
In June, the SSS reportedly sought the endorsement of President Muhammadu Buhari to arrest Mr. Umar, after receiving damning reports that he was involved in alleged money laundering, extortion and illegal possession of firearms.
The allegations and counter allegations
Contrary to reports that SSS concocted lies to rope in Mr. Magu, credible sources at the EFCC said Mr. Umar was actually the one who initially made the payment of the N40 million for rent of Rudolf House in the highbrow Maitama district of the FCT, but when Mr. Magu realised that the SSS was pokenosing into the matter, the FCTA was hurriedly involved to make a fresh payment and put the new documents into record.
“The documents were hurriedly changed to indicate that no payment was previously made but that by the FCTA,” said a source who pleaded anonymity.
According to the source, it was illegal for Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, to pay for Mr. Magu’s rent as it was against federal government’s monitisation policy.
“Even at that, it is illegal for the FCTA to rent and furnish a house for even ministers let alone heads of government agencies. Even at the FCTA, there was violation of procurement process as Abuja Metropolitan Council officials even grumbled over the pressure mounted on them to perfect the process.
“The monitisation policy only excluded the president, the vice president, judicial officers of the superior court of record, police and members of the armed forces.
“If Magu is occupying the house as policeman, then it should be noted that no police officer of grade level 14 is entitled to a N20million per year rent. And if he is occupying the house by virtue of his position as acting EFCC chairman, then there is violation of monitisation policy,” a source familiar with the transaction file said.
Apart from paying for the domestic staff and services at Mr. Magu’s house by Africa Energy SA Nigeria, a company owned by Mr. Umar, the retired air commodore had allegedly “donated” money to Mr. Magu in hard currencies.
Apart from also using Mr. Umar’s private jet on a number of occasions, the embattled anti-graft chief also stayed at Mr. Umar’s palatial Iyaka Road mansion whenever he (Magu) traveled to Kano.
Sources told Daily Nigerian that early this year, when Mr. Magu lost one of his relations, Mr. Umar traveled alongside his in-law (named Hamisu) in one of his private jets to the city of Maiduguri to condole with the EFCC boss.
Security sources also told this paper that Mr. Magu flew not once, but on several occasions in Mr. Umar’s Challenger 604 and 605 jets to Lagos, Kano and Maiduguri. Daily Nigerian obtained photographs of Mr. Magu’s former orderly, Saidu Noma, sitting in different types of jets during some of the many trips.
Daily Nigerian investigation also revealed that Messrs. Mohammed and Magu actually travelled with a bank chief investigated by the commission. Inside sources confirmed that the bank chief was the managing director of Fidelity Bank, Nnamdi Okonkwo.
Mr. Okonkwo, who was twice arrested and detained for about a week by the EFCC for allegedly helping a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, to launder $153million, was never prosecuted by the commission.
Although we could not verify whether Mr. Magu used public funds to travel on a first class ticket to Saudi Arabia, finding showed that the ticket cost nearly N3million.
Security sources said Mr. Magu, who prides himself as “Nigeria’s Edgar Hoover”, had lobbied and allegedly blackmailed some senators into supporting his confirmation, apparently the reason Senate President Bukola Saraki did not bring his screening before the plenary.
Both the embattled acting chairman of the EFCC and his spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, could not be reached for comments as several calls to their mobile numbers were not answered.