An EFCC official, who insisted on being anonymous, said that the acting chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu was on Tuesday served a letter from the office of the AGF seeking compliance with the regulation on the prosecution of “serious” cases, usually understood to mean high-profile investigations.
Specifically, the Attorney-General, Abubakar Malami, is accusing Magu of breaching section 10(1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Enforcement) Regulations 2010.
The regulation mandates the EFCC to forward the outcome of investigations along with its recommendations to the AGF in cases or complaints that are “serious or complex”.
A case is considered “serious or complex” if it has significant international dimension, involves money or assets of a value exceeding N50 million or requires specialised knowledge of financial, commercial, fiscal or regulatory matters such as the operations of the markets, banking systems, trusts or tax regimes.
It is also considered serious if it involves allegations of fraudulent activities against numerous victims, involves a significant loss of money by a ministry or department or public body, is likely to be of widespread public concern or involves an alleged misconduct which amounts to economic sabotage.
After the EFCC must have conducted the investigations, it is then left to the office of the AGF to decide whether or not there are sufficient grounds to initiate prosecution, according to the regulation.
Sources at Malami’s office said he is trying to reassert his position “having been persistently sidelined by the anti-graft agencies under his supervision”,
There was a similar disagreement between the AGF and EFCC in 2007 when Michael Aondoakaa, then the attorney, sought to take over the prosecutorial powers of the anti-graft agency, headed by Nuhu Ribadu at the time.
Ribadu was eventually removed as the EFCC chairman.