For a second time, the senate on Wednesday rejected the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Department of State Services (DSS) wrote to the senate on Tuesday, affirming its security report, which indicted Magu of corruption.
A source had told TheCable that the lawmakers would use the report as a basis for not confirming Magu’s appointment.
On Tuesday, Senate President Bukola Saraki announced that a confirmation hearing would be held for him.
This was weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari had asked the senate to reconsider its decision to reject Magu’s nomination.
The senate first rejected Magu’s appointment on December 15, 2016, citing a security report of the DSS.
In the report, Magu was accused of living in a house paid for by a “corrupt” businessman. He was also accused of extorting money — through a proxy — from suspects.
“Investigation on the chairmanship of Magu revealed that in August 2008 during the tenure of Farida Waziri as the commission’s chairman, some sensitive documents which were not supposed to be at the disposal of Magu were discovered in his house. He was subsequently redeployed to the police after days of detention and later suspended from the police force,” the report read.
“In December 2010, the Police Service Commission (PSC) found Magu guilty of action prejudicial to state security – withholding of EFCC files, sabotage, unauthorised removal of EFCC files and acts unbecoming of a police officer, and awarded him severe reprimand as punishment.
“Notwithstanding, sequel to the appointment of Ibrahim Lamorde as chairman, he made the return of Magu to the EFCC a top priority. Magu remained a top official of the commission until he was appointed to succeed Lamorde.
“Magu is currently occupying a residence rented for N40m at N20m per annum. This accommodation was not paid [for] from the commission’s finances, but by one Umar Mohammed, air commodore retired, a questionable businessman who has subsequently been arrested by the secret service.
“For the furnishing of the residence, Magu enlisted the Federal Capital Development Authority to award a contract to Africa Energy, a company owned by the same Mohammed, to furnish the residence at the cost of N43m.”
The report also said Magu regularly embarked on official and private trips through a jet owned by the “corrupt businessman”.
The anti-graft czar denied all the allegations and maintained his innocence.
Owing to the allegations, the president had directed Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, to carry out an investigation.
Malami submitted his report at the end of the assignment. The president then wrote to the senate re-nominating Magu.
However, the details of the investigation were not revealed in the president’s letter to the senate.
Also, the president did not say why the rejection of Magu’s appointment should be reconsidered.
After Magu’s re-nomination, the senate, on March 7, wrote to the DSS for another security report on him.
But the secret police re-sent its earlier report indicting the anti-graft czar of corruption. The report got to the upper legislative chamber at 5pm on Tuesday.
The 14th paragraph of the report read: “In light of the foregoing, Magu has failed integrity test”.
After a screening session, which lasted about an hour, Saraki asked Magu to take his leave. He then put his confirmation to a voice vote, and majority opposed him.
Saraki then ratified the decision of the upper chamber not to confirm Magu.
Magu has vowed not to be discouraged by the action of the lawmakers, vowing to keep fighting corruption until his last day in office.
He said the rejection has not changed his priority to fight corruption.
“My priority is to fight corruption. My non-confirmation has not changed anything, I will work until the last day whether confirmation or no confirmation,” he told some civil society groups in Abuja.
“The greatest violation against human right is crime against the society and the humanity… everybody has a duty and responsibility to fight corruption, and I also have a responsibility. I assure you that we will fight to finish.”
Under Magu, the anti-corruption war has recieved a boost, and many recoveries made — the latest being the interception of a cash of N49 million hidden in five sacks at the Kaduna international airport.
But critics of the current administration believe that the commission has turned a blind eye to those in the good books of Buhari.
Magu was appointed in November 2015, following the sack of Ibrahim Lamorde.