Uneasy calm at EFCC headquarters over Magu’s absence

As the Justice Ayo Salami-led panel probing allegations against the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, commenced its second day of sitting inside the State House Conference Centre, Abuja, on Tuesday, there appeared to be uncertainty concerning the leadership of the commission.

Magu’s absence for the second day at the anti-graft headquarters is said to have created a leadership vacuum as he has not authorized anyone to act on his behalf.

It was learned that staff of the commission were at a loss as to what to do with matters requiring the acting Chairman’s attention who, despite his probe, has not been suspended from office.

“If he had been officially suspended over the allegations, the officer in charge of operations at the commission would have acted in his place. As it is now, that cannot happen and everyone appears to be playing safe,” a source close to the EFCC volunteered on Tuesday.

The anti-graft boss is facing allegations of corruption levelled against him by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

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The panel was said to have started sitting about three weeks ago soon after Malami wrote his petition to President Muhammadu Buhari outlining Magu’s alleged infractions.

However, Monday was the first day  Magu was dragged before it after being apprehended on the street in Wuse II Abuja by security officials.

It was also gathered that Monday’s incident, which led to the “arrest” of the commission’s chairman on the street, was warranted by Magu’s reluctance to answer the panel’s several summonses.

Despite that, the panel was said to have accorded the anti-graft boss his due respect by letting him retain his phones, allowing him to go for prayers by himself and served dinner while still being quizzed.

It was also learnt that while Magu resisted attempts to get him into a car at the end of Monday’s panel’s sitting rather than the back of a pickup truck, which he preferred, he warned his handlers to remember that he remained a commissioner of police and must be treated as such.

On Tuesday, members of the panel were noticed at the venue of the interrogation by noon while a convoy of three cars, which appeared to be carrying an important guest drove into the premises at 12.37 pm.

It was not certain whether Magu was the principal official in the convoy.

It however had a Peugeot sedan sandwiched by two Toyota Hilux vans occupied by several security personnel who provided cover for the car.

After a brief screening by personnel of the Department of State Security at the gate, the convoy was waved on to join the panel.

Access was again denied to unauthorized persons including journalists by security details at the centre.

When the Tribune Online approached the gate, one queried: “There’s is restriction. Where exactly are you going?”

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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