Following a deluge of damning corruption allegations against him, Ibrahim Magu seems not to leave any stone unturned as he is presently fighting back, having opened a defence that may open can of worms in the ongoing investigation.
It would be recalled that the embattled and suspended anti-corruption czar was summoned on Monday, July 6, by the operatives of the State Security Services, though DSS said he was not arrested but only invited for interrogation.
Magu, who later spent ten days in detention, was grilled over allegations bordering on insubordination and corruption following a recent memo by Abubakar Malami, the minister for justice and attorney-general of the federation, indicting the suspended EFCC boss.
Among top charges, Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets (PCARA) is probing Magu for illegally buying properties in Dubai and diverting recovered funds into his pocket.
On Wednesday, July 22, the suspended EFCC boss opened defence against the Malami allegations and here are five (5) takeaways from his first response to the probe panel's inquiry.
1. The allegation against me is to destroy my hard-earned reputation
In his response to the retired justice Ayo Salami-led presidential probe panel, Magu said the allegations against him are malicious and spiteful, purposefully channelled against his dignity and integrity.
"This false allegation is most unfortunate, spiteful, malicious and intended to cruelly destroy my hard-earned reputation.
"Contrary to the allegations contained in paragraph (A-5X) of the petition, I know as a fact and verily believe that not a dime of the recovered funds was fraudulently converted to my personal account," Magu said.
2. I challenge my accuser to provide evidence
Magu's accuser, of course, is no other person than the attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice, Malami, who forwarded a memo to President Muhammadu Buhari detailing the anti-corruption czar's sins.
In his defence, Magu denied “vehemently and unequivocally” that he received bribes and cornered recovered loots. He challenged Malami to prove points against him!
He said: "I challenge my accuser to produce evidence of such fraudulent conversion.”
3. I have stepped on toes in the course of the anti-graft war
Magu admitted stepping on the toes of the cabals in Buhari's government in the course of his fight against corruption and added that some suspects under investigations are waging war against him.
"In the exercise of my official functions as acting Chairman of the Commission, I have stepped on toes in ensuring that corruption is fought to a standstill in Nigeria.
“Some of the suspects under investigation and prosecution are always ganging up to fight me back publishing false, untrue, malicious and libellous allegations against me,” Magu explained.
4. I never abused my office
Magu, who was said to have turned EFCC to an empire to intimidate his suspects, said he never abused his office as the head of the anti-corruption agency.
"I have never abused the office I am occupying at the pleasure, Mr President. I have never personally enriched myself whilst performing my official function," embattled Magu said.
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5. Audit of EFCC account is flawed
Magu said he was not invited to give reports of stewardship when the accounts of the EFCC were being audited by the PCARA.
"Contrary to the established international best practice and the principle of fair hearing. . . the report of the PCARA and the documents analysed before making the purported findings contained in Paragraph 5 of the petition were never made available to the Commission to respond and clarify.
“That I was not invited by the Committee to defend myself and the Commission before the purported findings were made. That fair hearing demands that I should not be indicted without being heard," Magu submitted.
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