Panel Grills Magu Over Alleged Ownership Of Dubai Properties, Diversion Of N39bn


The woes of suspended acting chairman of the Economic and financial crimes commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu worsened on Wednesday as the presidential panel investigating corruption allegations against him quizzed him over properties he allegedly acquired in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates.

This is part of fresh allegations against the suspended EFCC boss, who has been in an Abuja police cell since his arrest on Monday.

Magu had been picked up by security agents in front of the old EFCC headquarters on Fomella Street, Wuse 2, Abuja, around noon on Monday and whisked to Aso Rock Villa to face the panel in camera. Journalists have been barred from the probe.

On Wednesday, the Justice Ayo Salami-led panel looked into allegations that Magu bought properties abroad, particularly in Dubai, where he was said to have travelled to several times on official and private visits.

The panel also focused on the allegation that N39bn had been diverted from the recovered loot.

Recall that police operatives had combed Magu’s house on Tuesday and carted away ‘some vital documents’. The panel is expected to carry out forensics on documents, including a peep into his earnings and bank records.

A source told CHECKPOINTCHARLEY that Mr. Magu was grilled for eight hours on Wednesday, after which he was taken back to his police cell.

The source also confirmed that fresh allegations continue to emerge as Magu was accused of selling off or releasing about 157 oil tankers without following due process.

The vehicles were said to have been seized by the Port Harcourt zonal office of the EFCC.

The proceeds from the said sale were not remitted to the government’s coffers, while those released were said to have been done after bribes were given to senior EFCC officials loyal to Magu.

A report by the Auditor-General of the Federation last year also noted that about N13.96bn reported as salaries and wages in the consolidated financial statement of the EFCC were not in the anti-graft agency’s trial balance submitted for reconciliation.

This apart, the EFCC was listed as one of the agencies with “doubtful cash balance” of over N315m.

Apart from Justice Salami, other members of the presidential panel investigating Magu are a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Mike Ogbizi, Hassan Abdullahi from the DSS and Douglas Ekwueme who is an official of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit.

Others include Mallam Shamsudeen, from the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mohammed Abubakar from the Federal Ministry of Justice and Mr. Kazeem Atilebi representing Civil Society Organisations.

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