The presidency is shopping for a possible replacement of Ibrahim Magu, the suspended chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The names of four people including a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG), a retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) and two serving police commissioners have been pencilled.
This is coming as the Presidential Panel led by Justice Ayo Salami, a former President of the Court of Appeal, continued with its interrogation of the embattled Magu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Credible sources said ahead of the invitation of Magu on Monday, the Salami panel had recommended for his suspension “to pave the way for a free investigation in line with standard procedures.” A top presidency source said Magu was asked to step aside to allow for proper investigation of the allegations levelled against him.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said, “You know that anybody undergoing this kind of investigation cannot be allowed to continue to occupy the office. “The continued stay in office of someone being investigated does not happen anywhere. If Magu is allowed to continue to occupy the office, some of these allegations and records would be distorted.
No serious investigation can take place when the person affected is still operating. “It is given that somebody undergoing a probe of this magnitude cannot continue to occupy his or her office. From the moment he appeared before the committee yesterday (Monday), you should know that he was no longer going back to the office while still facing the panel investigating him,” he said.
Another source said the suspension of Magu does not mean that he had been indicted or finally removed from office.
“His suspension is the ideal thing to do in order to douse tension and while he is being interrogated, the EFCC must continue to do its job; I want to assure you that someone would soon be announced to act.
“If found wanting by the Justice Salami panel, the president will definitely relieve Magu of his appointment as head of the EFCC and then the Police Service Commission (PSC) will carry on from there…T
hey have the right to take action in line with the guidelines and conditions of service of the Police Force,” he said. Our correspondents report that there was no formal announcement of Magu’s suspension by the presidency as at press time yesterday. But a source said he would not be allowed to go home yet.
“He will only be allowed to go home after the panel says they are done with him; this could be any moment from now and it will depend on the outcome of the interrogation,” he said.