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Panel Interrogate EFCC Boss Magu For 6-Hours At Aso Villa

Valentine Chinyem

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Following the arrest of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu, a presidential panel set up by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday quizzed him for six hours at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Magu was interrogated at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, after he was whisked to the venue by armed operatives of the Department of State Services.

The panel which was inaugurated last week is led by led by a former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami (retd.), as well as about seven other members including the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Mike Ogbizi.

Representatives from the Office of the National Security Adviser, the DSS and other related agencies, are also part of the panel.

Magu’s convoy, it was learnt was accosted by security agents in plain clothes in front of the old EFCC headquarters on Fomella Street, Wuse 2, Abuja, around 12noon on Monday.

He was shown a letter of invitation from the presidential panel requesting his presence.

However, Magu was said to have explained to the security agents that he would honour the invitation on a future date but they refused to accept his explanation, insisting he follows them to the Presidential Villa.

He was subsequently whisked away, to the venue of panel.

A top EFCC source said, “Attempts to bring Magu before the panel in the past had proved abortive. So, on Monday, a team of security agents in plain clothes accosted him around the old EFCC office in Wuse 2.

“Magu’s men quickly put up a resistance but the security officials on the other side quickly corked their guns and insisted that they were following presidential orders. They immediately took Magu into custody and brought him before the panel.”

It was learnt that 24 allegations were levelled against Magu who has been acting as chairman for almost five years.

Most of the allegations, it was learnt, emanated from a report by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), and a DSS report which was submitted to the Senate in 2016 and 2017.

The EFCC boss was accused of living above his means, fraternising with corrupt persons, diversion of recovered funds and many others.

The DSS revealed in 2016, also revealed that Magu was living in a N40m mansion.

Details also revealed that he had four houses and was moving money outside the country through third parties.

He was also accused of insubordination.

Meanwhile, it was learnt that the acting EFCC boss might be asked to step down pending the outcome of investigation.

“The usual procedure is that when one is facing an investigation of this nature, he would be advised to step down,” a source revealed.

“This is because the EFCC is the face of this government’s anti-corruption crusade and keeping Magu there amid this investigation could present a moral challenge.

“I understand that he has been advised to hand over to the next most senior director but he is being adamant.”

However, the presidency as well as the DSS, have since denied Magu was arrested, insisting that he was only invited by the panel for give update on recovered loot.