The Presidential Committee against Corruption (PACAC) has given reasons for the “arrest” of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, on Monday.
The acting EFCC boss was stopped as he left the commission’s office in Abuja. He was then asked to proceed to the Presidential Villa, where a panel grilled him.
In a statement later the same Monday, PACAC said in a statement signed by Prof. Femi Odekunle that Magu’s trouble stems from a memo by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
He said the Minister was exploiting his closeness to President Muhammadu Buhari to deal with Magu, whereas the Minister had not exhibited commitment to the fight against corruption.
The Professor, who cited instances of untoward behaviour by Malami, said the grilling of Magu was purely based on the memo by the Minister.
“This is a preliminary reaction of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC) to the alleged ‘arrest’ of Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“Of course, the real information reaching us is that he was only invited to appear before a Panel set up not long ago concerning some alleged memo by Malami, Attorney General and Minister of justice, regarding some alleged malfeasance by Magu, along with nominations for his replacement.
“It was just that those sent to invite him for whatever reasons best known to them invited some press along and made it look like an arrest. That mischief has been confirmed by some apparent afterthought denial by the DSS that it was not an arrest.
“While PACAC has not had a formal meeting on this development, I have discussed with the Chairman and some other members and the following can be considered as PACAC’s preliminary reaction to this development.
“The alleged originating Malami memo, up to the current “arrest” seems an outcome of power-play by power blocs in the corridors of power in which Malami appears to be an arrow-head or major agent of a power bloc that is not really interested in, or in support of, Buhari’s anti-corruption fight,” Prof. Femi Odekunle wrote.