By Adnan Tudunwada
Renting a cosy apartment in Maitama area of the FCT, furnishing the house at the cost N43million and flying on a first class ticket to Saudi Arabia were some of the reasons the Senate rejected the confirmation of Ibrahim Magu as substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, a report said.
Prior to his appointment as acting EFCC chairman, Mr. Magu was living in Karu, a suburb of Nasarawa State sprawling on to the capital territory, but was advised to move to city for security purpose in view of his position.
Although the report of the State Security Service, SSS, on which the Senate acted to reject Mr. Magu’s confirmation, appeared to be red herring, it said the N20m per year rent was paid by a “questionable character”, a retired air commodore currently under investigation by the service.
The report said Mr. Magu got the FCTA to award a contract of N43 million to a company owned by the retired air commodore to furnish the apartment.
The five-page report, dated October 3, 2016 and addressed to the Acting Clerk of the Senate, said on June 24, Mr. Magu flew Emirates First Class at the rate of N2,990,196.00 to Saudi Arabia for lesser Hajj, against President Buhari’s directive.
“Magu is currently occupying a residence rented for N40m at N20million per annum. This accommodation was not paid from commission’s finances but by one Umar Mohammed (Air Commodore/Rtd), a questionable businessman and ally of subject who has subsequently been arrested by this service.
“The circumstances surrounding Magu’s return to EFCC at the former Chairman, Lamorde and their close working relationship ever since, is a clear indication of his culpability in the corrupt tendencies of the Lamorde led EFCC.
“In December 2010, the Police Service Commission found Magu guilty of “Action prejudicial to state security, withholding EFCC files, sabotage, unauthorized removal of EFCC files and acts unbecoming of a police officer.
“To cover up his tracks, Magu uses only his police cronies to execute operations.
“In the light of foregoing, Magu has failed the integrity test and will eventually constitute a liability to the anti-corruption drive of the present administration,” concludes the report.
Addressing reporters after an executive session of the Senate, the Spokesman of the Senate, Abdullahi Sabi, said the nomination of Magu was rejected based on security reports available to the Senate.
“Based on security reports available to the Senate, the Senate cannot proceed to confirm the nomination of Ibrahim Magu Mustapha as the Executive Chairman of the EFCC.
“Accordingly, the Senate hereby rejects the said nomination and has returned the said nomination back to the President for further action,” Mr. Sabi said.
On his part, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said the Senate would continue with the screening of other nominees, since the security reports did not indict any one of them.
“The nominees are hereby referred to the Senate committee on Anti-corruption for screening”, Saraki added.
Commissioners to be screened by the Senate standing committee as Members of the EFCC are Nda Sule Moses, Lawan Mamman, Galadanci Imam and Adeleke Rafiu.
Rigid and uncompromising, Mr. Magu might have invoked the wrath of the senators and the SSS because of the previous investigations he handled pertaining some of the senators.