Buhari approves Magu’s suspension as EFCC boss, names Umar as replacement

President Muhammadu Buhari has formally approved the suspension of the acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, from office with immediate effect.

A statement yesterday from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), said the suspension was to allow an unhindered investigation of allegations of fraud brought against Magu.   

Recall that the Presidential Investigation Panel, under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act and other relevant laws, has been set up for that purpose.

According to the statement, the President has also approved that the EFCC Director of Operations, Mohammed Umar, take charge and oversee the activities of the Commission, pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation and further directives in that regard.  

Meanwhile, Magu has applied to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, to be released on bail.

Magu requested to be granted bail through a letter sent on his behalf by one of his lawyers, Mr. Oluwatosin Ojaomo, yesterday in Abuja.

The letter, dated July 10, with the IGP’s office’s acknowledgement stamp bearing the same date, requested that the embattled acting EFCC chairman be granted bail “on self-recognisance.”

Magu, who has been in detention since his arrest on Monday, has been appearing before the panel from the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), Abuja and spent his fourth night in detention on Thursday, while other persons who appeared before the panel were been allowed to go home.

He has been in the eye of the storm since his engagement by Buhari shortly after he took assumed office in 2015.

Having been accused of corrupt practices earlier by the former director-general of Department of State Service (DSS), Mamman Daura, Magu was denied confirmation twice by the previous Senate headed by Dr. Bukola Saraki, during his screening exercises.  

Consequently, he remained in an acting capacity, a situation described by some Nigerians as unconstitutional.  

The activity that led to his final suspension started early in the week with an invitation to the Presidential Villa for interrogation by the panel. Following weighty allegations brought against him by Malami, the panel recommended his suspension, pending the outcome of the probe.  

Although news of Magu’s suspension has been in the air since last Wednesday, the President formally gave his approval yesterday, according to information made available by the office of the AGF.

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