According to SaharaReporters, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari and DG of Department of State Security (DSS) are hatching plans to replace EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Magu. Also part of the plot is Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, Publisher of ThisDay Newspapers.
Sources at the Presidency reveal that there has been a cold war between Magu and members of the President’s kitchen cabinet, who seek to interfere with ongoing corruption cases at the EFCC.
Matters reportedly came to a head recently when our source, SaharaReporters did an exposé that revealed how the Chief of Staff perverted an investigation that the commission had commenced against a powerful indigenous oil company, Sahara Energy, with Mr. Kyari directly accusing Magu of being the brain behind the leaking of the story.
Our sources revealed that Magu’s letter of nomination to the Senate for confirmation was delayed by the Chief of Staff and the Attorney General of the Federation because of Magu’s “intransigence.” On the part of the DSS, sources within the administration say Magu was held to have stepped on their toes by constantly questioning why they usurped the role of EFCC in carrying out raids into the homes of corrupt former government officials, which is the domain of the EFCC.
The DSS reportedly raided at least 30 homes of officials and aides of former President Goodluck Jonathan, but only managed to deliver a meager N47m and $1.943m. Worse still, some of the monies recovered were never delivered to the federal government treasury and during reconciliation, some of the foreign currencies were found to be fake.
The tension between the EFCC and the DSS grew to unimaginable proportions until yesterday when the DSS raided the home of a member of the Arms Probe Committee, Air Commodore Umar Muhammed (rtd.) who reportedly had $1.5million hidden in the premises in Abuja from bribes he purportedly received on behalf of other panel members.
The reporting of the story appeared in Thisday newspaper, owned by Nduka Obaigbena, the publisher of which had been forced by the EFCC to return monies he collected from the office of the National Security Adviser for a contract that was never implemented.
Knowledgeable sources in government and law enforcement told SaharaReporters last night that Obaigbena was stopped from traveling to the United Kingdom last weekend by airport immigration officials who told him he was on the EFCC no-fly list.
The sources say Mr. Kyari, a former member of the Editorial Board of ThisDay, then intervened, following which Obaigbena was eventually allowed to travel the next day. He is now in London.
Sources at the EFCC said that by securing Obaigbena’s travels, Mr. Kyari, and the DSS DG apparently obtained his cooperation to commence a media war on the chairperson of the agency.
Air Commodore Umar Muhammad saga appears to be the ideal case against Magu as he is seen as someone the EFCC Boss shoudn’t have closed in on. Sources close to the retired Air Commodore said he was married to late oil Minister Rilwan Lukman’s daughter and that he has always lived a flamboyant lifestyle close to former Presidents, including late President Umar Yar’Adua.
They characterized him as a conduit for passing funds to other Heads of State and governments in Africa. During former President Jonathan’s era, for instance, he was said to have been a go-between with several African Heads of State, particularly those of Niger and Ghana. He runs a massive office in Abuja where he refers to himself as “Don”.
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His posh home in Abuja reportedly has at least 50 luxury cars, and he was regularly in the company of high-profile local and international visitors. Former FCT Minister Bala Mohammed was a regular visitor to his home, and he reportedly was involved in passing money to the Chadian government during the botched Boko Haram negotiation involving Hassan Tukur, the former Principal Secretary to President Jonathan, who was arrested two weeks ago.
It is unclear how the retired Air Commodore, given such profile, was put on a panel by the Buhari government to investigate high-profile corruption cases.
The plot is said to include nominating an already identified replacement who will be loyal to members of the President’s inner circle. “The vultures are gathering now,” a political analyst said in New York on Wednesday.
“If Buhari cannot find the conviction to chop off the head of the crocodile he has reared as a pet in Aso Rock,” he continued, “his anti-corruption claims will be in silent mode by the time he returns from the United Nations General Assembly in September, and will be the laughing stock of the world by the time he reads his Christmas speech.”