Emerging reports indicate that the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu is ridiculing the recently introduced whistleblower policy of the Federal Government, with the suspension of some EFCC staff who had written a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari detailing prevailing corrupt practices in the Commission.
Vigil360 recently gathered that Magu had authorized the suspension of some EFCC Staff on December 29, 2015 via EFCC/PF/(personal file number of staff), after it was established that they wrote an SOS to President Muhammadu Buhari titled “Requesting for the rejuvenating and overhauling of the EFCC.” Their suspension came barely a month after he was appointed the Acting Chairman of the Commission.
The petition according to a credible source in the Commission detailed the corrupt practices that prevailed under the leadership of the past Chairmen of the Commission.
Apart from the SOS, the aggrieved staff also wrote other petitions to the President including “The hidden corrupt chameleon in EFCC published on 8th June”; “Why the appointment of the next EFCC chairman must not be sentiment based” and “Last minute corruption and looting by EFCC leadership of Mr Ibrahim Lamorde.”
Irked by the development, the source said Magu ordered their suspension claiming that their action contravened sections of the EFCC Act. Currently, he is secretly accusing them of conspiring with the Department of State Services (DSS) by giving them information about his illegal activities. He said the information handed over to the DSS may have informed the damning report forwarded to the Senate prior to his appearance for confirmation. Magu according to him is blaming them for his non-confirmation.
Meanwhile, when Vigil360 spoke to one of the affected staff, he lamented that with the adoption of the Whistle Blower policy, Magu should have allowed them to return to work without further delay or stringent conditions. He disclosed that instead, the Commission in a letter dated November 15, 2017 gave them stern conditions for resumption.
One of the conditions according to him was that the staff must refrain from disclosing any operation or activities of the Acting Chairman to the President, the Attorney General of the Federation or any other government agency or high ranking government official. He added that while some of the staff have reportedly written undertaking and resumed, few others have refused to write such undertaking describing it as illegal. They maintained that since Magu has nothing against them, they must be allowed to resume without any obnoxious condition.
It was also gathered that majority of the staff in the Commission are aggrieved over the nonpayment of their statutory allowances by the Acting Chairman. Some of the staff who pleaded for anonymity said the leakage of the identity of a prospective successor rattled Magu and since then he has been behaving like a retiring masquerade.
Another source claimed that Magu is currently appropriating all available resources to himself, since his days are now numbered. Meanwhile, the aggrieved staff has blamed the recent escape of some detainees in EFCC detention centre Lagos on the poor welfare situation. He said the suspect handlers negotiated a fee with the suspects to facilitate their escape. He warned that more of such incidents as well as leakage of sensitive information may continue to happen in the coming days.
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