By Teddy Nwanunobi
Abuja (Sundiata Post) — As Nigerians await to see if President Muhammadu Buhari would renominate the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, for the third time for Senate’s confirmation as the EFCC substantive chairman, the Department of State Services (DSS) has insisted in a confidential memo it sent to the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) that “MAGU is a perennial offender, who cannot change”.
In the memo, which Sundiata Post obtained titled: ‘Re: Request for Additional Documents/Information’, the DSS told the AGF: “An officer appointed as Ag. Chairman of EFCC should by by all means be one of impeccable credentials, with proven integrity and capacity to lead the nation’s fight against graft in high and low places. Thus far, it is evident from MAGU’s antecedents that he is by no means that kind of officer. His relationship with Umar MOHAMMED which involved disclosure of very sensitive and classified official documents in his possession shows lack of professionalism and assails his integrity. More so, for an officer, who was indicted and nearly dismissed six (6) months ago to be again involved in similar circumstances, it is clear that MAGU is a perennial offender and cannot change”.
DSS Report (pg.1)
The seven-page report, with eight paragraphs, which contained annexures marked A to L, was signed by Folashade Bello for the Director-General, SS.
The report further accused Magu of lacking judgment where it matters most.
DSS Report (pg.2)
“He accepted to move into a tastily furnished accommodation without any scrutiny how it was furnished. This is curious and speaks volume of his personality,” the report pointed out.
The report also observed that Magu’s relationship with the likes of Umar not only exposes Magu as a fraudulent officer, but also betrays the high confidence reposed in him by Buhari.
DSS Report (pg.3)
“The recovery of sensitive and classified documents from the residence of UMAR underlays his close affinity to MAGU and an apparent penchant for sabotaging official processes and administrative protocols, just to further the latter’s personal material and pecuniary agenda. Such mutually beneficial relationship as with UMAR, who by his confession, approaches ‘clients’ for possible exploitation, favours and associated returns is unprecedented and very damning for an anti-graft top official,” the report observed.
The report went on to add that Magu does not have the ability to settle personal matters without using the instruments of government.
DSS Report (pg.4)
“A further demonstration of MAGU’s questionable credibility is an untainted anti-corruption official is his failed bid to settle personal scores with one Stanley Inye LAWSON by placing him on Security Watch Action. It was, however, discovered that LAWSON was actually working in the interest of the Federal Government and the Action was subsequently expunged,” the report added.
It would be recalled that Magu was rejected by the Senate for the second time in three months, after screening him on Wednesday, March 15, 2017.
DSS Report (pg.5)
The Upper Legislative Chamber based its rejection of Magu on a report sent to it by the DSS in December 2016.
Magu had earlier been rejected by the Senate due to the report, which accused him of corruption.
DSS Report (pg.6)
But prominent human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, said that Buhari can still renominate him for confirmation as the EFCC Chairman.
“The rejection of the nomination of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) this afternoon by the Senate on the basis of a security report compiled by the State Security Service is the height of official ridicule of the office of the President.
DSS Report (pg.7)
“It is high time the State Security Service (SSS) was restrained by President Buhari from sabotaging the fight against corruption by the federal government.
“With respect to the Senate, the confirmation hearing hurriedly conducted today is illegal in every material particular. The participation of many senators who are either under investigation or being prosecuted by the EFCC has vitiated the entire proceedings of the Senate on grounds of conflict of interest.
“It is also a contravention of the Rules of the Senate which stipulates that matters which are sub judice shall not be discussed by the Senate.
“Mr. Magu’s nomination may be re-presented to the Senate if and when the Federal Government decides to put its house in order. Alternatively, the President may allow Mr. Magu to remain the Acting Chairman of the EFCC since he was appointed in that capacity pursuant to Section 171 of the Constitution.
“But if the President is not satisfied with Mr. Magu’s performance he is at liberty to appoint another person whose nomination will be forwarded to the Senate in accordance with Section 2 (3) of the EFCC Act, 2004.
“In the light of the foregoing, President Buhari is enjoined to ensure that the fight against corruption is not derailed by highly placed corrupt elements who have enlisted the support of fifth columnists and reactionary forces in the government,” he said.