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Anti-Magu plot thickens

Yusuf Alli, Abuja

Security agencies have uncovered plots to stop the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) on trial for corruption and some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have been coopted into the anti-Magu’s protest march across the country.

The affected allies have also joined forces with some governors, who are interested in taking over the EFCC to cover up their tracks.

It was learnt that some of these people are bankrolling protest marches against Magu.

It was discovered that the campaign is financed by a high profile defendant in money laundering and corruption matter.

The sponsors and leaders of the plot were also said to be apprehensive of the continued stay of Magu, despite the fact that his four-year tenure ended on November 9.

It was gathered that the clandestine moves against Magu border on the sole objective of easing him out of the EFCC at all costs.

Read Also: EFCC not tool for witch-hunt, says Magu

A source said: “Some major players in the oil sector have recruited certain CSOs for the project. They are now holding meeting in choice hotels in Abuja and Lagos to perfect the game plan.

“Some sponsors of the project were implicated in money laundering and corruption in the oil and gas sector. A few others were said to be angry that they are financially down because it is no longer business as usual in the oil industry.

“These oil merchants, who have close relationship with a former oil minister, were alleged to have mobilized huge funds to fund this campaign of character assassination and misinformation against Magu.

“Some of the Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs), especially in the opposition have joined the fray just to put a stop to what they have described as “Magu’s malaise” in EFCC.”

Their agenda in the coming days are as follows:

  • To address news conference where certain allegations against EFCC under Magu will be unfolded.
  • To hold sponsored rallies against the commission in Abuja and Lagos.
  • To attack the integrity of the EFCC Acting Chairman and to drive a wedge between him and his principal in government.

“They have sponsored petitions before the House of Reps with certain allegations against the EFCC. (But concerted efforts had been put in place to tackle the petition while the matter is being addressed).

“They are also claiming that Magu has served the statutory four years as EFCC boss (as stipulated in the EFCC Act), alleging that the President ought to have removed him on the grounds that he has completed his tenure.

“They are also relying on Sections 2 (3) and 3 (1) of the EFCC (Establishment) Act, 2004 to buttress their argument.

Section 2 (3) states: that, “The Chairman and members of the Commission other than ex-officio members shall be appointed by the President and appointment shall be subject to the confirmation of the Senate.”

Section 3 (1) states: “The Chairman and members of the Commission other than ex-officio members shall hold office for a period of four years and may be re-appointed for a further term of four years and no more.”

It was also learnt that some governors have been secretly collaborating with the oil barons to wield contacts to send Magu packing.

“Three governors are already going about to convince their colleagues to back out of support for Magu. They are warning their colleagues that Magu might come after them.”

Another source said President Buhari has compounded the problems of the arrowheads and leaders of the plot against Magu.

The source added: “Though different names are being bandied about as replacement for Magu in the corridors of power, President Buhari has refused to disclose his intention over the status of Magu.

“Besides, the President is keeping his decision on Magu to his chest as none of those close to him in Aso Rock can speak authoritatively on the matter.”

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