5 Factors That Brought Down Ibrahim Magu

In this post, I will be sharing with you 5 factors that led to the fall of Ibrahim Magu.

It has gone down history lane that Monday, 5th July 2020, Nigeria's N0 1 spymaster was intercepted on his way to office by men of the Department of Security Services (DSS) and arrested in traffic in Abuja and driven to the presidential villa for interrogations. It is a case of the hunter becoming the hunted.
Not until the DSS diffused the tension by issuing a statement that Ibrahim Magu was only 'invited' and not arrested, the News of Magu’s arrest sent the country in a frenzy of debates for a couple of hours.

However, those who understands how the DSS operates argue that an invitation by the security agency is actually an arrest, and by the following morning, it became very clear that the embattled Magu was held in custody overnight at the Force CID, Area 10 in Abuja on orders from above.

Recall that Ibrahim Magu has been in a long battle of wills with the Attorney General of the federation, Abubakar Malami. The AGF had a couple of weeks ago, accused the EFCC boss of corruption and insubordination.

Efogator Media gathered that the Malami vs Magu fight is as a result of a high level powerplay which has spanned many years.

You will remember vividly that the 8th senate led by Bukola Saraki refused to confirm Magu as substansive EFCC chairman based on a report from the DSS which allegedly accused Magu of fraudulent activities.

Magu however enjoyed the backing of president Buhari and could not be shaken and remained the acting Chairman of the agency for five years running.

Below is the reasons Magu last so long despite the alleged allegations of corruption:

1. President Buhari Backing: Buhari fully believed that Magu was gaining grounds in his fight against corruption. On resumption of office, Buhari's cardinal agenda was to bring corruption to its knees.

Magu, through his initiative, the Whistle blower policy, seemed to have been helping the president achieve his dream of ridding Nigeria of corrupt elements and corruption.

 Magu went to town as the 'Mayor' who blasted all corrupt elements and fished them from their hideouts. Initially, he made some giant strides, arresting alleged looters of public funds and their hidden money.

He seemed to be able to sniff the wads of notes whereever they were hidden. The spymaster dug out hundreds of millions from septic tanks, holes dug in farmlands, airconditioned containers and apartments.

MORE: 8 Things You Must Know About Bala Ciroma, the New EFCC Boss

His hugest find was the millions of dollars and pound sterling found in an Ikoyi flat but that became the beginning of criticisms as the controversial operation begged more questions than were answered.

The money which was recovered in a flat on Osbourne road Ikoyi, summed at, $43.4m, £27,800, N23.2m.

It turned out the flat belonged to a former PDP chairman, Adamu Muazu who quickly released a statement that though he built the house, he has since sold it.

The Federal Government however tactfully claimed ownership saying the money belonged to the National Intelligence Agency and stashed there by the former DG of the agency, Ambassador Ayo Oke.

Accordingly, the President inaugurated a three-man Committee comprising the Hon. Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and the National Security Adviser, headed by the Vice President, to conduct an investigation into the circumstances in which the NIA came into possession of the funds, how and by whose or which authority the funds were made available to the NIA, and to establish whether or not there has been a breach of the law or security procedure in obtaining custody and use of the funds.

Mr Oke came under hot fire but till date Nigerians are still in a haze as to what really happened to the money.

People began to question Magu's mode of operation, his penchant for media trial of alleged looters and inability to get as much convictions in court. He began to lose public appeal and the decent continued.

2. Abba Kyari Backing: Sources indicate that Ibrahim Magu was able to retain his position irrespective of the rejection by the Nigerian senate because he allegedly had the backing of the then Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari; it is widely believed that the late Abba Kyari was his 'godfather' and shielded Magu against all allegations leveled against him.

3. Over Bloating Figures: It was becoming clear to Nigerians that Magu was allegedly exaggerating recovered loot as the declared figures published conflicted those released by the government and people began to question why government needed to borrow so much while Magu the star spymaster had declared even more money than what government was borrowing.

This made everyone to begin to doubt Magu's integrity.

4. Bola Tinubu Backing: EM also gathered that Magu enjoyed the backing of the ruling party, APC strong man, Ahmed Bola Tinubu.

Many believes that Ibrahim Magu is a 'Tinubu boy'. These people argue that with Tinubu's influence waning in the helms of affairs of the All People's Congress, APC, Magu's days in the EFCC are numbered.

5. Arrogance: Magu was almost untouchable for the most part of his career and it is generally believed the he became arrogant and careless. Renting a house at N20m annually, paying N40m upfront, furnishing it with N43m and allegedly paying through a crony.

Magu arrogantly allegedly was living a lavish lifestyle and more recently allegedly hiring a private jet to Dubai during lockdown without due process are some of the excuses his critiques point out.

His running battle with the Attorney General who has accused him of insubordination was somewhere waiting to be dug out at the appropriate time and with a new power block at the Aso Villa, the AGF did not waste time opening the EFCC's cupboard allegedly full of skeletons.

Indeed, Prof. Femi Odekunle, a professor and member of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, insinuated in a statement on Monday that the Attorney General was using a power block in the presidency to fight his 'war' against the EFCC boss:

"The alleged originating Malami memo, up to the current “arrest “ seems an outcome of power-play by power blocs in the corridors of power in which Malami appears to be an arrow-head or major agent of a power bloc that is not really interested in, or in support of, Buhari’s anti-corruption fight,” Odekunle said.

It is noteworthy that the anti-graft boss was not driven to the DSS headquaters after his arrest but to the presidential villa where the DSS said he was taken to answer allegations of money laundering.

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