Magu: NFIU to defend submission at presidential panel

3 weeks ago 38

Officials of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) will in the coming days defend the submission they made to the Ayo Salami-led presidential panel probing the now suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.

Magu is being investigated over allegations of fraud, misconduct and disrespect raised against him by the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

Following the alleged gross mispropriation of recovered assets by Magu and huge sums of money involved, a top source at the NFIU, who spoke to BusinessDay on Sunday, said although the unit has made submission to the panel as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari, NFIU officers were yet to be invited to the panel.

“But they will soon appear to defend the submission to the panel and make clarifications.

“The president asked the NFIU to confirm the allegations money-wise because the unit is the only one that has the ability to trace all money all over the world,” the source said.

He, however, did not mention figures saying that at the moment, “the matter is still classified”.

The NFIU investigative reports on the EFCC allegedly exposed Magu’s corrupt practices. It reportedly established that Magu has been using different sources to siphon off money from the EFCC and in some cases collected bribes from suspects.

On the recent burglary of the office of the NFIU where it was reported that sensitive materials linked to the probe of Magu were either stolen or destroyed, the source said although one of the offices in the Unit was burgled and some computers carted away, no sensitive materials were lost because they were saved in a central server.

He also disclosed that the Unit would relocate from the Presidential Villa to a new office in Wuse 2, Abuja, but did not state if the relocation was as a result of the ongoing probe.

President Buhari ordered a comprehensive investigation to be conducted following a review of the allegations levelled against Magu and several other members of staff of the commission.

Buhari’s media aide, Garba Shehu, who said Magu was being given an opportunity to defend himself, added that there are no sacred cows in the war against corruption. He stressed that those insinuating that Magu’s probe signified the failure of the anti-corruption war had missed the point.

Magu was arrested by men of the Department of Security Services (DSS) on Monday, July 6 and he has since remained in detention at the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) in Abuja.

His lawyers have, however, filed for a bail application to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu.

One of the lawyers, Tosin Ojaomo, who spoke to BusinessDay on Saturday, expressed confidence that Magu would be released on bail on Monday, July 13.

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