EFCC chair: Again, Senate rejects Magu
He failed integrity test –lawmakers
I wasn’t given fair hearing, says Magu
DCP Abdulrahman may emerge new commission boss
From Kemi Yesufu, Ndubuisi Orji, Fred Itua, Abuja and Sola Ojo, Kaduna
Twice, in three months, Senate, has rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s nomination of Ibrahim Magu as substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Buhari appointed Magu in acting capacity, in November 2015.
He was first rejected on December 15, 2016, based on a report submitted to the Senate by the Director-General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Lawal Daura.
President Buhari re-submitted Magu’s nomination to the Senate on January 24, 2017, despite a damning report from the DSS.
Announcing the rejection, yesterday, after over 90 minutes grilling by the Senate, lawmakers claimed that another report from the DSS indicted Magu. In the letter signed by an operative of DSS, F.O. Adams, on behalf of the Director-General, the Service said the only difference between the old and the new report was the cover note. In the cover note of the new report, sighted by our correspondent, the DSS boss said the Service was standing by its earlier claims.
“We want to stand by our earlier report, dated October 3, 2016. Everything in the earlier document stands,” part of the cover note of the new report read. Trouble started when Senator Dino Melaye from Kogi State drew the attention of lawmakers to Page 5, paragraph 14 of the resubmitted security report.
Quoting the portion of the report, he said: “Magu has failed the integrity test and may constitute a liability to the anti-corruption fight.” Melaye was soon followed by the Deputy Minority Whip, Biodun Olujimi. She asked Magu if he was qualified to still lead the anti-corruption agency, based on the new report from the DSS.
Magu, who appeared infuriated by Melaye’s revelation, lashed out at the DSS and accused it of not giving him a fair hearing. He said: “The DSS report you are talking about, was I given any fair hearing? Before you indict me, you ought to have invited me. Up till date, I have not been invited by the DSS to hear my own side of the story. Is that one fair hearing?”
Magu left the chamber at about 1.38pm.
Saraki, in his concluding remarks said: “I want to urge the President to nominate another person since Magu can no longer act as the chairman of EFCC. Today, democracy has worked. We followed due process. We hope the executive will send in a new name so the anti-corruption war can go on,” Saraki.
A belated attempt by Senator Ali Ndume to salvage the situation proved abortive. Ndume protested the approach adopted by the senate president. He said Saraki erred by accepting a new report not signed by the Director-General of DSS, Daura.
Referring to a similar letter written to the Senate President by an Assistant Controller-General of Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) on behalf of Col. Hameed Ali, Ndume queried why Saraki declined to read the letter, but accepted a similar one from the DSS. He was called to order by Saraki who said the letter from NCS was not written on behalf of the Controller-General, unlike that of the DSS which was signed on behalf of Daura.
Daily Sun, however, gathered that the DSS refused to vacate its earlier report. It was learnt that the Clerk to the National Assembly, Mohammed Sani Omololu, was instructed by Saraki to write to the Director-General of DSS. In the letter, it was learnt Saraki urged the DSS boss to forward a new report to the senate to enable it take a position on Magu. Daura, it was learnt, declined to vacate the earlier position, taken by the senate. Sources familiar with the development, said Daura declined to vacate the earlier report in order not to rubbish the Service.
Meanwhile, Magu has given more insights into the ongoing investigation of the former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison Madueke. He told senators that the former minister
EFCC chair: Again, Senate rejects Magu