The new chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari to replace Ibrahim Lamorde, who was sacked on Monday, is described as a no-nonsense operative who was brought back to the commission by Lamorde after his sack by ex-chairman, Mrs. Farida Waziri.
Magu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, served as head of the Economic Governance Unit (EGU) of the EFCC during the tenure of Nuhu Ribadu as chairman, several enemies while at the commission.
An EFCC said this of him, “Magu made several enemies while at the EFCC. You know he was the brain behind high profile investigations like Saraki, Odili and others. Many of them have vowed not to let him return to the EFCC.”
An early recruit into the EFCC by Ribadu, he is widely regarded as a incorruptible and courageous officer.
There are feelers in some quarters that his return to the EFCC is to finally nail Senate President Bukola Saraki as he spearheaded the investigation into the collapse of Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria, and was instrumental to the conviction of Mr. James Ibori, former Governor of Delta State, over issues of money laundering and corrupt enrichment in the United Kingdom.
Magu was controversially removed from office by Ribadu’s successor, Waziri, who questioned his loyalty to her, it was alleged by sources then.
The doubts led to his being sent packing from the EFCC in August 2008, when he was accused of illegally keeping case files of top politicians being investigated by the commission.
Subsequently, his house in Abuja was searched and his property carted away by operatives of the EFCC acting under the directive of the new EFCC boss, Waziri, but later re-deployed to the police after eight days in detention with nothing incriminating found against him.
Despite his being found innocent, he was suspended from the police, going without salaries for several months.
Reprieve came his way when Lamorde was made chairman and asked for his services and was granted through former President Goodluck Jonathan’s personal intervention with the police hierarchy kicking against it.