UPDATED: Nigerians in disbelief over DSS’ reported arrest of Magu, Acting EFCC Chairman

Editors’ note: This story has been updated with a footnote to reflect the latest development.


What can we say when an anti-corruption czar is found wanting for the same offence? In a movie-like twist of events, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has been reportedly arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS); leaving Nigerians shell-shocked.

Arrested on allegations that he owned four landed properties and that he had illegally transferred funds abroad through a third party, attention was also drawn to claims of Magu living an exorbitantly lavish lifestyle. Instances include his high-end taste for first-class air travels, his residence which is supposedly rented for N40 million at N20 million per annum and the luxurious furnishings of the apartment which had cost N43 million.

Reports indicate that he was allegedly arrested on Monday and is under intensive interrogation at the DSS Headquarters in Aso Drive. 

Comments about the downright comedic events in the country filled Twittersphere; with Nigerians sighing and laughing in exasperation at the incredulous news.

 

Many pondered on how the EFCC, responsible for investigating criminals, would have a boss who is an alleged “offline Yahoo boy.” 

 

Some argued that the audacity Magu exhibited in allegedly dipping into corrupt practices was because he assumed he was “untouchable” as the EFCC Chairman.


 

The EFCC has however refuted media reports on the said arrest, stating that he merely honoured a panel invitation. The agency emphasised that its Chairman was neither apprehended nor forced to honour an invitation and that a member of a legal team from the EFCC was also with him on the Panel.

Similarly, the DSS has refuted reports on the arrest and issued a statement via its spokseman, Peter Afunanya.

“The Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to inform the public that it did not arrest Ibrahim MAGU, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as has been reported by sections of the media. “The Service, has since, today, 6th July, 2020, been inundated with enquiries over the alleged arrest,” the statement read.

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