The former acting chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, on Wednesday breathed the air of freedom after spending 10 days in police custody.
He was released shortly after the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, directed one of his lawyers, Tosin Ojaomo, to direct his bail applications to the Presidential panel probing his activities in office.
Ojaomo confirmed the release of his client, saying, “Yes, I can confirm that Magu has been released this evening,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the President, President Muhammadu Buhari, has ordered the suspension of 12 directors of the EFCC, including the commission’s Secretary, Olanipekun Olukoyede.
The order, one of our correspondents gathered, was handed down on Friday following a request by the presidential panel investigating the allegations of graft and misconduct against the former EFCC acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu.
The newsmen learnt that the directors were asked by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to proceed on suspension on Tuesday in compliance with the presidential order.
A source said, “The panel actually requested the suspension of all the directors of the EFCC to go.
It was gathered that the panel called for the files, but the officials in charge were said to have failed to respond to the panel’s summons, and attempts to get the concerned officers reportedly proved abortive.
A source said, “The failure of some of the loyalists referred to as Magu boys to provide the sensitive files requested by the panel is being treated as a serious security issue.”
Meanwhile, Magu on Wednesday demanded a copy of the report of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets and a memo by the Attorney-General of the Federation to the President in which 22 allegations were levelled against him.
The former EFCC boss in a letter to the panel chairman, Justice Ayo Salami, dated July 15, 2020, explained that he had not seen the allegations and petitions against him despite spending over nine days in custody.
Magu, in the letter written by his lawyer, Wahab Shittu, further said that he was ready to respond to the allegations against him if provided the copy of the allegations.
The letter was a follow-up to the earlier one addressed to the panel dated July 10.
It read in part, “Our client respectfully demands the following: a copy of the report of the Presidential Audit Committee, a copy of the memo of Honourable Attorney General of the Federation to the President on our client and individual petitions submitted to the panel against our client.”
Shittu observed that the panel had clarified that it did not order Magu’s detention, and therefore, requested the panel to direct the Inspector-General of Police to release him.
He stated, “Our client observes that the panel has issued an official statement to the effect that it did not authorise the detention of our client.
“We request the panel to recommend to the Inspector-General of Police in whose custody our client is to release him from custody to enable him to adequately prepare his defence and attend to his failing health.”
Earlier and shortly before his release, the IGP had said the police were not investigating Magu and was accordingly, not being detained by the force, but by the panel headed by former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami.
“Following the request, the President asked the AGF to direct the directors and other senior officials to proceed on suspension immediately. The officials were informed on Tuesday.”
This is happening as some loyalists to Magu were said to have fled with some sensitive files requested by the presidential panel.
The police boss said this in a letter dated July 14, 2020, in response to the bail application filed by Ojaomo for the release of his client, who had been in police custody since July 6.
Magu’s invitation in his best interest- Presidency
In a related development, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the invitation of the suspended acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, by the Justice Ayo Salami-led presidential panel was in his (Magu) best interest.
Adesina said this during Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ programme on Wednesday.
On the legality of Magu’s prolonged detention, Adesina said, “If anything illegal has been done, there are ways to seek redress for it, but I think it is in the best interest of everybody, including Magu, for the panel to have invited him to hear his side of the story.”