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Panel quizzes EFCC secretary, directors

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Panel quizzes EFCC secretary, directors

Panel quizzes EFCC secretary, directors

The presidential panel investigating sundry allegations against the suspended chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, yesterday questioned the secretary, Olanipekun Olukoyede, and directors of the commission.

Magu is facing corruption allegation by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

The Guardian gathered that the panel led by Justice Ayo Salami had extended invitation the top officials of EFCC to provide details on some of the allegations against Magu.

The former anti-graft czar appeared before the panel from the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID), where he has been since Monday. He appeared with his lawyer, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), the former Minister of Justice who set up the commission during former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration.

Armed security operatives had stormed the EFCC headquarters on Monday and cordoned it off but unaware that Magu was not in the office. He was reportedly picked up later at Wuse II, in Abuja.

Meanwhile, a group known as the Unified Nigerian Youths Forum has said that the suspension of Magu from the EFCC vindicated the leadership of the 8th National Assembly and the Department of State Services (DSS).

The forum said Magu did more damage to the image of EFCC than any of his predecessors by so much compromise.

The group suggested that any person to be appointed as chairman of the commission “must be proven beyond any reasonable doubt to have track records of bravery, accountability, loyalty to the nation and sincerity of purpose.”

In a statement yesterday, president of the forum, Abdulsalam Kazeem, told President Muhammadu Buhari to take careful steps in appointing Magu’s replacement, as Nigerians would no longer take excuses on such appointments.

“We are aware that the presidency has pencilled in over seven senior police officers, both serving and retired. As a group, we appeal to the president to appoint the next EFCC boss based on merit and not favourism as usual. Someone who can repair the battered image of the commission is urgently needed.”

According to him, appointing the Director of Operations to Magu, who is being pushed forward, to oversee the commission will further prove that the country is not serious with the fight against corruption at all levels.

“If we are serious, the Director of Operations, who might be a co-conspirator, should be under house arrest with all those ‘Magu boys’ who allegedly help their boss to blackmail and frame up innocent Nigerians all in the name of fighting corruption, because a single tree cannot make a forest.

“All the management staff, including those he favoured with accelerated promotions and juicy positions to serve his interest, must be dismantled now, to pave way for an overhaul of the EFCC,” Kazeem stated.

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