State House Correspondents were on Monday bared from accessing the Banquet hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, venue where the embattled Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu was being grilled for alleged infractions against him by a panel comprising men of the Department of State Services (DSS).
The EFCC boss was reported to have been arrested by the DSS when his vehicle was said to have been stopped in traffic while moving out of the Wuse II Annex of the EFCC office in Abuja and the invitation was extended to him.
But the DSS, in a statement on Monday clarified that it did not arrest the Acting Chairman of the EFCC ”as has been reported by sections of the media.”
Public Relations Officer, DSS National Headquarters, Peter Afunanya said, ”the Service, has since, today, 6th July, 2020, been inundated with enquiries over the alleged arrest.”
The venue was being secured by the Special Force (SF) wing of the DSS when the newsmen made to access the Press Center situated atop the Banquet Hall, before a plain clothes security detail asked the journalists to leave the facility.
The press had arrived the venue to cover the event at about 3.20pm.
“They said you people should excuse the use of this place for today, ” the Operative said.
The investigative panel was constituted by President Muhammadu Bubari penultimate week following allegations that he owns four choice properties and was laundering funds abroad through a third party.
DAILY ASSET recalls that the main opposition – Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Friday said the memo by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, indicting the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, of financial scam, has further exposed the corruption, deception and hypocrisy that pervade the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government
”It is the worst national embarrassment in the history of Nigeria, that the head of anti-corruption agency in an administration that prides itself on zero tolerance for corruption, is being dragged on allegation of diversion of recovered funds and fraudulent sale of assets seized by the agency.”
In a statement issued by the national publicity secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party noted that Malami’s memo has “exposed the credentials of President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption architecture, rubbished his standing as Africa Union(AU) anti-corruption champion and shattered our national integrity in the international arena,” the statement said.
The statement further read: “The world can now see that the much hyped anti-corruption fight of the Buhari administration, has been nothing but a huge fraud and a racket by certain persons in the APC administration to harass political opponents, intimidate and extort money from innocent Nigerians and steal public funds.
“Nigerians and the world have further seen why corruption has worsened under the Buhari administration, as copiously documented by credible international organizations, including the Transparency International, TI.
“Indeed, our party, Nigerians across board and of course, members of the international community, have completely lost confidence in President Buhari’s capacity to fight corruption as he has not demonstrated the littlest effort against corruption since he came into office in 2015.
“Instead, Mr. President had continued to run a system that condones corrupt practices by officials of his administration while providing cover for individuals indicted for corruption including those who are now serving as cabinet ministers and other federal appointees in his government.
“The PDP recalled that President Buhari had insisted on Magu as the EFCC Chairman despite his rejection by the Senate over reports by the Department of State Services, DSS, which raised certain integrity issues against him.
“The party further recalled that the DSS report, which was read out on the floor of the Senate, allegedly stated that ‘Magu has failed the integrity test and will eventually constitute a liability to the anti-corruption stand of the current government.’
“Our party therefore holds that the latest report coming from none other than the Attorney General of the Federation; the EFCC’s supervising minister, who believably has unhindered access to facts and documents related to the anti-graft issues, must be received by President Buhari as a huge demand on him to clean up the system.
“Moreover, following the allegation of diversion of recovered funds coming from the nation’s Attorney General, the EFCC chairman has lost all moral rectitude to preside over our nation’s anti-corruption agency to investigate and prosecute others until he comes clean of these horrible allegations.
“However, given this administration’s history of concealment and cover for indicted officials, our party enjoins the National Assembly to immediately constitute a joint ad-hoc committee and commence an independent investigation into these alleged disgraceful acts which have the potencies of collapsing our nation’s integrity before the comity of nations.
“Our party also calls on Mr. Magu to immediately step aside and submit himself for an independent investigation in order to clear his name.”
It would be recalled that Malami had in a letter addressed to President Buhari earlier in the week, accused Magu of failing the transparency test in the disclosure of recovered assets amongst other alleged infractions.
Credit: Daily Asset