Ibrahim Magu, The suspended boss of Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the EFCC, has complained about the “unfortunate” handling of his investigation for alleged corruption, saying he has consequently been “paraded like a common criminal”.
Mr Magu, 58, was arrested in Abuja on Monday by a team of police officers, who dragged him to the State House to appear before the Justice Ayo Salami-led Presidential Investigative Committee.
As now understands, with documents obtained, the police officers were led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Gabriel Elaigwu. They acted on the instruction of the investigative committee.
The police team held a letter from the committee telling Mr Magu he had featured “prominently” in certain offences and that “the need to obtain clarification from you has become very urgent and necessary.”
Since Monday, Mr Magu, originally a police officer, has been in detention at the Force Criminal Investigation Department’s Area 10 Abuja headquarters from where he had throughout the week been appearing before the investigators sitting at the State House. The investigative committee is set up based on the Tribunals of Inquiry Act, a government statement said on Friday.
However, Magu, speaking through his lawyer, Wahab Shittu, in a letter directed to the investigative committee on Friday, Mr Magu said he had not seen the petitions containing the allegations against him, nor had the committee availed him with their terms of reference.
“Mr Chairman, since the 6th of July when our client honoured your invitation, he has been consistently applying to the Committee to be given the petitions containing the allegations of CONSPIRACY, CORRUPT ENRICHMENT, ABUSE OF POWER/OFFICE, which request has not been honoured or obliged till date,” read the letter, seen by PREMIUM TIMES.
“Our client has also informed us that he remains unaware of the terms of reference of this distinguished Committee.”
The letter also related Mr Magu’s discomfort with his continued detention at the FCID “without being informed of the allegations against him and the deserved opportunity to timeously study and respond to same.”
The letter further contained a complaint that, “witnesses are called and examined by the Committee behind his back and without allowing him and counsel of his choice to participate in the proceedings involving these witnesses.”
He said he had been a target of campaigns of calumny by the media taking advantage of his detention to spread damaging, false and prejudicial allegations.
Among such “unfounded allegations which never featured in the proceedings of the Committee thus far,” the letter said, were that Mr Magu gave Vice President Yemi Osinbajo four billion naira (an allegation Mr Osinbajo has denied); that he ran secret accounts; procured cronies to front for him;, and that he acquired properties in Dubai.
“These campaigns of calumny have greatly affected the morale of our client and damaged his hard earned reputation and that of the Commission (EFCC),” the letter read.
“It continued, “that our client as a result of this campaign of calumny has been paraded like a common criminal and subjected to all manners of insults and embarrassment just for serving his nation diligently and efficiently as the arrow-head of the anti-corruption campaign of this administration.
“This unfortunate development is happening even before the determination of the petitions before this Honourable Committee with prejudicial consequences.”