Ibrahim Magu’s fate remains uncertain five months after the submission of the report of the Justice Ayo Salami Judicial Panel of Inquiry on the former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to President Muhammadu Buhari.
There have been concerns about the fate of Magu after the appointment and confirmation of Abdulrasheed Bawa as the new Executive Chairman of EFCC in February.
According to Daily Trust, although sources in the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), said the panel faulted some procedures in the management of recovered assets under Magu, the presidential white paper on the report had yet to be announced.
One of Magu’s lawyers, Tosin Ojaomo, said Magu remained in the service of the Nigeria Police Force though the police has yet to post him anywhere after his suspension as EFCC chairman.
Magu has not been sighted in uniform or in any police command five months after his removal as EFCC boss.
Two previous EFCC chief executives, Nuhu Ribadu (2003-2007) and Ibrahim Lamorde (2011-2015) seconded from the police returned to the police service after being removed from the EFCC.
One of the recommendations of the Salami panel, which sat from June to November 2020, is that officers from other law enforcement agencies should be considered in the appointment of the chairman of EFCC as provided under the EFCC Act 2004.
The panel also recommended an exit plan for 970 policemen comprising 114 drivers, 641 mobile policemen and 215 others (operations) on secondment to the EFCC to address the issue of lack of promotion of core staff members of the agency for over nine years.
The report of the panel reads in part: “Your Excellency, our thinking here is that whoever you are appointing other than a core EFCC staff should be in transitional capacity of two years during which period arrangement would be made for appointment of any of the core staff who has been commended by the National Crime Agency (NCA), UK, and other international law enforcement for their professionalism.”
The panel said Magu appeared during its hearing alongside 113 witnesses and that it received 46 petitions and memoranda against the former acting chairman and the commission from individuals and organisations.
Findings at the EFCC revealed that although Magu’s name is no longer on the payroll of the commission, he is still with the police.
Born on May 5, 1962, Magu is due to retire from the police on the same date next year when he would have attained the age of 60.
An official of the commission who spoke under condition of anonymity, said, “He is one of the Commissioners of Police (CPs) in the NPF. He’s yet to retire since he has not clocked 35 years in service or 60 years of age as spelt out in the condition of service.
“Though he has not been deployed for a new assignment by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) after his travails as acting EFCC chief, I’m sure his entitlements have not been stopped for any reason.”
When asked for his whereabouts, the official said, “I can confirm to you that he’s still in the country, but staying largely at home. As of now, he can’t travel out of the country despite the fact that he has been removed finally.”