Some foreign missions and donor agencies will monitor today’s screening of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu. Besides, some Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) senators have opted to support Magu’s confirmation as the fourth chairman of the anti-graft agency. The senators reportedly met yesterday.
It was also learnt that Senate President Bukola Saraki briefed the leadership of the chamber on the controversial reports of the Department of State Services (DSS) on Magu. But the details of the brief were kept under wraps as at the time of filing this report.
The embassies, The Nation learnt, directed some of their desk officers, mostly in the intelligence unit, to monitor the confirmation.
Although the notice of the screening was sudden, more than 10 foreign missions and donor agencies have put some officials on the alert to monitor the session.
A top official of one of the missions said: “We heard of the confirmation notice at short notice but we have put all steps in place to monitor the process. “We are interested in Magu’s screening because it might determine the direction of your anti-graft war.
“So far, I think we are about 10 missions and agencies that have compared notes on the screening.” Another said: “We were caught unawares but we will send a representative to the screening to watch the development.
“We want to monitor the process to gauge the mindset of the Senate and Magu.” Responding to a question, the source added: “Some intelligence organisations collaborating with EFCC are interested in the screening too.”
Following the persistent intrigues over Magu’s fate, there is anxiety among some donor agencies, anti-graft war partners and foreign missions. Most of them rate Magu highly.
Some of the donor agencies and partners that have collaborated with the EFCC include United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), US Justice Department, the DFID, FBI, the National Crime Agency( NCA), the Metropolitan Police, the Interpol, City of London police, Serious Organized Crime Agency(SOCA), UK-sponsored Justice 4 All (J4ALL) , the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Western Australia Police and some foreign missions. The UNODC project led to the treatment of more than 5000 petitions, 400 convictions and the recovery of about $6.5billion criminal proceeds.
Some of the assistance to EFCC are as follows:
•The US Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI) donation of a forensic work station, titled F.R.E.D (Forensic Recovery of Evidence Device).
•The payment of forensic accountant that assisted the EFCC to uncover those accused in the fuel subsidy fraud.
•Joint tactical and operational activities like collaboration with the Interpol, City of London police, Serious Organized Crime Agency(SOCA).
•NCA collaboration with EFCC to probe the oil sector during the tenure of a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison- Madueke.
•Ongoing MoU between EFCC and Western Australia Police are to combat internet fraud and money laundering.
It was learnt that some of the opposition senators claimed that they had decided to support Magu out of their belief in the anti-graft war and commitment to a new order.