By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
The Department of State Services, DSS has given further justification for its opinion to the presidency on why the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC Mr. Ibrahim Magu should not have been confirmed for the position.
The DSS in a letter to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami said Magu’s poor sense of judgment and willingness to compromise official documents for personal interest betrayed the high level of integrity that should be watchword of the holder of such office as EFCC chairman.
The letter was a follow up to the security report earlier submitted to the presidency and the Senate which formed the kernel for the Senate’s refusal to screen Magu last December.
The letter backing the documents was in response to an earlier letter by the AGF dated 19th December, 2016 with reference number HAGF/DSS/2016/Vol.1/7 which demanded for the basis for the security report.
In the letter from the DSS signed by Folashade Bello for the Director-General of the DSS, the security service claimed to have attached 12 different documents backing its claim.
The full documents were, however, not attached to the letter leaked to the press Friday.
Comrade Isah Salihu, Special Adviser on Media to the Attorney General of the Federation, said last night that he could not speak on the leaked letter until Monday when he is in the office.
The DSS is yet to formally appoint a spokesman.
The root of the DSS report against Magu was what it claimed as his unusual relationship with Air Commodore Mohammed Umar (rtd.), a suspect being prosecuted by the DSS. Umar and Magu were earlier members of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Arms Purchase.
Backing up earlier claims made against Magu, the DSS in the report said it provided a copy of the confessional statement by Air Commodore Mohammed Umar (rtd.), a suspect being prosecuted by the service.
“The statement affirms his ownership of Valcour S.A. Nigeria Limited, a company awarded the contract of securing and furnishing an official residence for Ibrahim MAGU by the FCTA. Investigation revealed that this was facilitated after MAGU was earlier shown the residence by,” a man the DSS claimed is a close business associate of UMAR, who was introduced to MAGU by the former.
The DSS also presented what it claimed was a forged Memo which supposedly originated from the Office of the Vice-President and addressed to Mr. President.
This was according to the report recovered from the private residence of UMAR during a search operation by this Service. The document was a request for approval to commence further investigation into the financial activities of a serving minister from the Niger Delta.
The DSS also forwarded another annexure being a letter from the Office of the Vice-President affirming that the annexure supposedly from the office was a forgery.
Annexure E was a copy of “Progress report with reference number SH/COS/24/A/7277 dated 25th May, 2016 on NNPC/NLG Brass Investment Accounts in Nigerian Commercial Banks from Chief of Staff to Mr. President, Abba KYARI to the Acting EFCC Chairman.
The letter is an official/classified document of the EFCC which was duly received by the Commission as indicated by the stamp on the document. However, it was recovered at UMAR’s residence.”
Annexure F are photocopies of Managers’ cheques of First Bank PLC and Zenith Bank PLC, issued in favour of EFCC Recovery Funds Account on 13/05/2016 and 16/05/2016 respectively. These are all sensitive official documents of the EFCC found in UMAR’s residence during the search.
Annexure G represented “A classified letter from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to the EFCC Chairman titled Re; Request to Freeze Accounts Messers Bebey; Merchant Ltd and 20 others, dated 7th March, 2016. This document was also dully received by EFCC but found in Commodore UMAR’s house during the search.
Annexure H represented “A document which emanated from Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and addressed to the EFCC Chairman on 6th May, 2016 with the subject, Re:Stop Debit Order on all NNPC Accounts and Subsidaries – A case for Joint Venture & NNPC Pension Funds Accounts. The document was recovered at UMAR’s residence.”
Annexure I represented “NNPC Letter GED/F&A/08.26 dated 5th May, 2016 addressed to the EFCC Chairman and titled Re: Stop Debit Order on all NNPC Accounts and Subsidiaries. This was also discovered during the search of UMAR’s residence.
Annexure J. This is a copy of NNPC correspondence with reference number GED/F&A/08.26 dated May 5th, 2016 and titled Re;Stop Debit Order on all NNPC Accounts and Subsidiaries – Transfer of FCT Balances to NNPC’s TSA Accounts, addressed to the EFCC Chairman. The document was found in UMAR’s residence.
Annexure K – A copy of an NNPC letter with reference number GED/F&A/08.26 dated May 5th, 2016 and titled Re: Stop Debit on all NNPC Accounts and Subsidiaries – Critical Accounts for immediate operations to the EFCC Chairman. The document was also recovered during the search of UMAR’s house.
Annexure L – Copy of Confessional Statement by UMAR to the Service stating that his trip to Maiduguri for condolence visit to Ibrahim MAGU, sequel to the loss of a close relative, was made on behalf of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Arms Purchase. Cross examination of the Chairman of the Committee, AVM John ODE (Rtd.) revealed that the committee did not send any of its members on such an assignment. The visit of UMAR to MAGU is therefore assessed as an expression of their close sinister relationship at the detriment of National Security interests.
Upon the various documents, the DSS submitted thus:
“An officer appointed as Ag. Chairman of EFCC should by all means be one of impeccable credentials, with proven integrity and capacity to lead the nation’s fight against graft in high and low places. Thus far, it is evident from MAGU’s antecedents that he is by no means that kind of officer. His relationship with Umar MOHAMMED which involved disclosure of very sensitive and classified official documents in his possession shows lack of professionalism and assails his integrity.
Moreso, for an office who was indicted and nearly dismissed six (6) years ago, to again be involved in similar circumstances, it is clear that MAGU is a perennial offender and cannot change.
“Also worthy of note is the fact that MAGU exhibited a total lack of judgment where it matters most. He accepted to move into a tastily furnished accommodation without any scrutiny of how it was furnished. This is curious and speaks volumes of his personality.
“The recovery of sensitive and classified documents from the residence of UMAR further underlays his close affinity to MAGU and an apparent penchant for sabotaging official processes and administrative protocols, just to further the latter’s personal material and pecuniary agenda. Such mutually beneficial relationships as with UMAR, who by his confession, approaches ‘clients’ for possible exploitation, favours and associated returns is unprecedented and very damming for an anti-graft top official. It has exposed MAGU as a fraudulent officer and betrays the high confidence reposed in him by Mr. President.
“A further demonstration of MAGU’s questionable credibility as an untainted anti-corruption official is his failed bid to settle personal scores with one Stanley Inye LAWSON by placing him on Security Watch Action. It was however discovered that LAWSON was actually working in the interest of the Federal Government and the Action was subsequently expunged.
“This reinforces the view that MAGU may continue to exploit his official position, if confirmed as EFCC Chairman and indulge in other unprofessional and criminal conducts for personal aggrandisement contrary to his oath of office.”