The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, has begun investigations into various allegations against some top Federal Government officials as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday.
Our correspondents learnt on Tuesday that after the President’s directive, the AGF had, on Monday, issued a query to the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu.
Sources in the Federal Ministry of Justice and the EFCC confirmed that the query was delivered to Magu on Monday.
It was learnt that the query was accompanied by allegations contained in the security report prepared by the Department of State Services and upon which the Senate had, last Thursday, rejected his confirmation as the EFCC Chairman.
“The AGF has started enforcing the directive by the President. I can confirm to you that the minister has taken the first step by querying the Acting Chairman of the EFCC,” a source in the Federal Ministry of Justice said.
The source could, however, not confirm what step the AGF had taken on the allegations levelled against the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal.
The source could also not confirm the ultimatum issued to Magu to respond to the query.
Meanwhile, a source close to the acting chairman of the commission said the anti-corruption officer had received the query.
He said he had already commenced preparing his defence to the allegations raised by the DSS.
The source added, “Yes, he has received the query with the DSS report sent to the Senate on him.
“Ironically, the query only contains one of the letters written by the DSS to the Senate.
“I think he has no problem with the query, but the question being asked by some people is that, he ought to have been given time to respond to the allegations before the Senate took that position.”
The letter, dated October 3, was addressed to the Clerk of the Senate, in response to a letter by the Senate, dated September 21, 2016, asking for Magu’s security check.
The report, which listed several alleged offences against the EFCC boss, said his confirmation would frustrate the anti-graft drive of the Buhari-led administration.
Part of the allegations against Magu was his being in possession of EFCC documents in his private residence during the chairmanship of Farida Waziri.
The DSS also made reference to the circumstances surrounding Magu’s arrest, detention and suspension by the Nigeria Police.
The secret service also alleged that the sum of N40m was paid for the rented apartment, which costs N20m per annum, where the acting EFCC chairman currently resides in Abuja.
It added that the accommodation was not paid for from the commission’s account but by a presidential appointee, who had been under investigation.
The DSS alleged that after renting the apartment for Magu, the friend awarded a N43m contract for the furnishing of the accommodation.
The appointee, who is a retired Air Commodore, was said to be a close associate and ally of Magu, and allegedly “runs questionable business” and was once arrested by the service.
The report, which cleared the other four EFCC appointees, said Magu flew a private jet owned by the retired military officer.
The service also claimed that the EFCC boss was once in the same flight to Maiduguri with a Managing Director of one of the new generation banks, who it alleged, was under investigation.
The Senate had, at plenary on Wednesday, called for the removal and prosecution of the SGF following alleged complicity in contract awards to take care of the Internally Displaced Persons in the North-East.
This followed the presentation of the interim report of the Senate Ad hoc Committee on Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in the North-East by the Chairman of the Committee, Shehu Sani.
The call for Lawal’s removal followed alleged contravention of the provisions of the Public Procurement Act and the Federal Government’s Financial Rules and Regulations pertaining to award of contracts.
Presenting the report, Sani said some of the contracts were awarded to companies belonging to top government officials’ cronies and family members.
He explained that the committee found out that Global Vision Engineering Limited, a company, with Lawal as Director, for instance, was awarded a consultancy contract.
Sani said despite being an IT company, the firm got a job to clear grass in Yobe State at N200m.
He said although Lawal resigned the directorship of the said company in September 2016, it was on record that he was a signatory to the accounts of the company.
Lawal denied all the allegations, saying “the Senate is talking balderdash; it has developed a bring-him-down syndrome.”