– The governors say Magu’s EFCC is carrying out an “unwarranted attack on the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, its officials and associated entities”
– Governors’ Forum’s chairman Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara stormed the presidential villa in protest after EFCC blocked its bank account during investigation
– Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has reportedly promised to look into the matter after Yari’s protest even as the governors have warned Magu to be careful with his actions
– The EFCC says it has not indicted anybody yet in the investigations which are still at infant stage
These are hard times for Ibrahim Magu, the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as he has reportedly angered the 36 state governors of Nigeria over his agency’s investigations on the Paris club loan refund.
Premium Times reports that the governors are so angry at Magu for his “unwarranted attack on the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, its officials and associated entities” and have threatened to deal with him.
This follows the EFCC’s investigation into the governors’ handling of the Paric Club refund they got from the federal government.
Recall that just some days back the EFCC ‘arrested’ Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) Director General Asishana Okauru over accounting for some billions of naira.
Premium Times reports that the EFCC further blocked an Access Bank account belonging to the NGF, angering the Forum’s chairman Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara, who stormed the presidential villa in protest.
“The governor met Vice President Osinbajo saying he has the mandate of his colleagues to request him (the VP) to call Magu to order or that the governor would do all they can to defend their integrity and that of their states,” one source said.
“The governor said should Magu continue to harass the NGF, the 36 governors would strike in a way never seen before.”
Yari was also quoted as telling Osinbajo that Magu was harassing officials at the NGF secretariat with ceaseless interrogations.
“We have done nothing wrong and we view this onslaught on the NGF as a fishing expedition designed to embarrass, humiliate and insult the 36 governors for perceived or imaginary wrongdoing,” the Zamfara governor is quoted as saying.
“We urge urge you to call him to order or we will fight back whichever way we can.”
“As a duly registered organisation, we, in the course of our work engage consultants and experts in areas where we do not have in-house capacity and these consultants and experts are paid for the services they render.
“The right to engage staff and other experts and professionals to carry out work on behalf of the governors is within the purview of the NGF and we are hard put explaining the current development.
“We fear that the harassment has gone on for too long without any signs of abating and we are urging you to call this man (Magu) to order and desist from any further harassment of our officials and consultants.”
The acting president was said to have thanked Yari and pleaded with him and other governors to be patient while the federal government looked into the matter.
Okauru confirmed that Yari recently met Osinbajo over the matter but could not give details of what was said.
“I don’t know the details of their discussion, but I am aware the two leaders met.
“I am also aware that the governors are very angry with what appears a deliberate attempt by the EFCC and its leadership to malign them and to feed the media with misinformation,” Okauru, who also denied ever being arrested by the EFCC, was quoted as saying.
Recall that the EFCC on Monday, February 13, denied that it has found senate president Bukola Saraki and a host of state governors guilty of allegedly pocketing billions of naira in Paris club loan refund.
The EFCC said in a statement that not only was the story against Saraki and the governors untrue, also false were allegations that officials of the agency were trying to cover up the indictments.