*Malami claims discrepancies in recovered loot
*EFCC boss not arrested, but only invited, says DSS
*He honoured panel’s invitation, anti-graft affirms
A panel set up by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday grilled the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, over alleged corruption.
He appeared before the panel that sat at the Banquet Hall wing of the Presidential Villa.
The panel is probing the activities of the agency following a memorandum from Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) to Buhari alleging discrepancies in the amount said to have been recovered and deposited with the Central Bank of Nigeria from the recovered loot among other issues .
An invitation by the panel was handed over to Magu who was stopped in traffic while moving out of the Wuse II Annex of the EFCC in Abuja on Monday.
According to a witness, although Magu was on the way to Force Headquarters, he pleaded with an officer from FCID who met him to honour a scheduled appointment. But he was told the invitation by the panel was more important.
Magu who arrived at the villa at about 1.35pm was ushered into the banquet wing. He was later joined at the Villa by his lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) .
Rumours of his purported arrest went viral on Monday afternoon. But this was dismissed by the Department of State Services (DSS).
A statement by the DSS Public Relations Officer, Dr. Peter Afunanya, said:
“The Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to inform the public that it did not arrest Ibrahim MAGU, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as has been reported by sections of the media. The Service, has since, today, 6th July, 2020, been inundated with enquiries over the alleged arrest.”
Malami had in June 19, 2020 further asked for his removal from office.
Malami, in his memorandum to the president, anchored his recommendation on several grounds “ranging from diversion of recovered loot to insubordination and misconduct” by Magu.
Malami alleged accounting gaps or discrepancies of figures, claiming that Magu “was not transparent enough in the management of recovered assets ”
But a Magu supporter said:” It will interest you to note that Malami accused the EFCC boss of disclosing a total naira recovery of N504 billion but lodged N543 billion in the Recovery Account with the CBN. Incidentally, this exceeded the disclosed figures by N39 billion.”
Meanwhile, the EFCC has also debunked media reports that Magu, was arrested.
Spokesman of the commission, Mr Dele Oyewale, said in a statement that Magu was only invited by a “presidential panel reviewing the activities of the EFCC” and that he honoured the invitation voluntarily.
He added that the the EFCC boss got the invitation while on his way to the Force Headquarters, Abuja, for a meeting.
“The EFCC’s boss was neither arrested nor forced to honour the invitation. A member of a legal team from the EFCC is also with him on the panel,“ he said.