Magu’s Watch Fraudulent Says Panel

…as more revelations emerge over monies, physical assets recovered by EFCC.

• He was warned- Navy
• Magu’s detention unlawful- SAN
• Retract or I’ll sue – Falana
• Auction sale lawful – AGF

– Jude ENE (Port Harcourt)

The fate of the suspended (Acting) EFCC boss continues to look bleak, if latest revelations from the Presidential panel is anything to go by.

Sometime last week, Magu was quizzed by the Panel, set up by President Muhammadu Buhari and headed by a retired president of the Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Ayo Salami.

Mr. Ibrahim Magu was queried over weighty allegations leveled against him based on the Report of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets (PCARA) earlier submitted to President Buhari.

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On Monday, the punch news referenced a news bulletin of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) relying on a report titled “FINAL REPORT OF THE PRESIDENTIAL INVESTIGATION COMMITTEE ON THE EFCC FEDERAL GOVERNMENT RECOVERED ASSETS AND FINANCES FROM MAY 2015 TO MAY 2020” detailing some allegations against the embattled Magu.

From the Monday Punch news report, it can be gleaned that Magu is being accused by the Salami Panel of committing many infractions as head of the anti-corruption body.

The Justice Salami’s panel currently investigating Magu is relying on the PCARA’s Report which contained some serious allegations of corruption. The PCARA report listed:

  • Poor management of recovered assets; unaccounted number of landed properties recovered between 2015 – 2020;Negligent handling of vessels laden with petroleum products which resulted in loss of revenue tuning to millions of US dollars; inconsistent returns bearing different numbers filed by EFCC to the relevant Authorities; sale of recovered properties at giveaway prices to his front, friends, kith and kin etc without adhering to laid down procedures; Negligent sinking of Vessels at Port Harcourt and Lagos under his watch, amongst other accusations.

The Punch news also reported that Magu failed to properly account for 332 out of 836 properties recovered by March 2018 as 836 was the figure EFCC reported in its July 4, 2017 returns to the President, but the returns to the PCARA on December 13, 2017 had 339 and later 504 in its March 9, 2018 return. Punch news report named MT GOOD SUCCESS, MV PSV DERBY and MV THAMES as the Vessels that Magu allowed to sink under his watch even after being warned by the Nigerian Navy.

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The report further outlined Magu’s brazen disregard for due process, International best practices, alleging Properties sale by him were not in compliance with the Regulations on the Management of Recovered Assets 2009, as the relevant government Ministries (Lands & Housing, Justice etc) were not privy to the sale transactions.

Also, Magu sins, as reported, consists of abuse of his office for selfish gains, favours & vendettas, as the EFCC under his watch was described as a ‘Glorified Police Station’ due to the influx of police officers at magu’s seconded request.

• MAGU’S CONTINUED DETENTION IS UNLAWFUL- SAN

As more reactions continue to trail Magus arrest, the legality or otherwise of his detention has generated heated debate in the polity.

Mr. Tayo Oyetibo, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) has voiced his concerns over the continued detention of the suspended anti-corruption Czar. In his statement titled “ Magu still has Rights” made available to news men, the learned silk argued that the law of karma was alien to our legal system as s.35 of the Nigerian Constitution prohibits prolonged detention of suspects without charging them to court within a reasonable time or releasing them on bail.

• RETRACT OR I’LL SUE – Falana threatens

News report linking a human rights activist, Femi Falana SAN to N28 million has been denied by him. His lawyers through a letter written to the online news Editor, has requested an apology from him over the bribe news story or face a law suit.

• VESSEL AUCTION SALES,LEGAL – AGF

As allegations and counter allegations in the ongoing probe, continue to emerge, key government officials have not been left out of the discourse.

Expectedly, the Hon Attorney General and Minister of Justice whose memo to President Buhari resulted in the setting up of the Salami panel, has defended the allegations against him by Magu.
Mr. Abubakar Malami SAN, in a statement through his media aide Umar Gwandu, justified the auctioning approval granted the company Omoh-Jay as legal. Stating that as a company duly registered, it was legal to allow it to participate in the bidding process despite their criminal trial ongoing at the time.

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