The detention of the suspended chairman of the anti-graft agency, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, came to an end last week as he was released after spending about ten days in police custody.
He was arrested on July 6 and was appearing before a presidential panel investigating allegations of corruption and insubordination levelled against him by Abubakar Malami, Nigeria’s justice minister. The duo have in recent times, disagreed on the anti-corruption war and many Nigerians believe Mr Magu’s ordeal is part of a power play with Mr Malami.
A combined team of police officers and operatives of the State Security Services (SSS) had searched Mr Magu’s house in Karu, Abuja but nothing incriminating was found during the search, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.
Prior to his release, prominent international groups involved in anti-corruption efforts globally wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari on what they said, is the unfortunate treatment of Mr Magu. They said Nigeria’s anti-corruption war might suffer a setback and that Mr Magu has proved himself to be up to the task.
Shortly before he was released, Mr Magu wrote to the Ayo Salami investigative panel, debunking media reports linking him to corruption and published while he was being detained.
He accused the panel of not giving him adequate time and facilities to defend himself and insisted that the panel is yet to serve him the petitions containing the allegations against him, as well as a copy of the report of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets (PCARA).
Edo and Ondo polls
Ahead of the September governorship election in Edo State, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, has expressed optimism that the All Progressives Congress (APC) will reclaim its mandate.
The minister, who chaired the APC National Campaign Council for the coming poll, said the party’s ‘South/South stakeholders’ had agreed to reclaim the state in the upcoming poll and that Edo was taken from the party through the back door and would be recovered.
In a similar development, a coalition of some registered political parties, under the aegis of Coalition of Political Parties (CPP), in Edo, endorsed the re-election bid of the governor, Godwin Obaseki, and his deputy, Philip Shaibu, for another four years.
Mr Obaseki is contesting under the platform of the People Democratic Party (PDP).
Also, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has published the final list of candidates for the election.
The list of the 14 political parties published by the commission shows that 12 of the 14 governorship candidates are male while two are female. It also showed that only two of the deputy governorship candidates are female.
Meanwhile, in Ondo State, the APC has cleared all 12 aspirants jostling for its governorship ticket.
READ ALSO: Edo 2020: I won’t support Obaseki – PDP chieftain
This was after the party’s screening panel chaired by Tijjani Tumsa, screened the state’s incumbent governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, alongside 11 aspirants at an undisclosed venue in Abuja between July 8 and 9.
The party also appointed the governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, as the chairman of the Ondo State governorship primary election committee. This is even as the chairman of the caretaker committee of the APC, Mala Buni, cautioned the governorship aspirants of the party in Ondo State not to dictate on its mode of primary after the party chose the indirect primary.
The APC primary in Ondo State holds on July 20.
Aformer National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, said that as the NSA between 2012 and 2015, he never campaigned for the APC nor Mr Buhari, before, during or after the 2015 presidential election.
This was in reaction to media reports that he discreetly campaigned for Mr Buhari and his party APC, while serving as Mr Jonathan’s NSA.
He said he was only involved in the unsuccessful attempt at forging an alliance between the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), prior to 2011 elections.
Also reacting to a media report was the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, who denied having a 2023 presidential ambition.
Consultations were ongoing among major stakeholders in the party to make Mr Lawan’s goal to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari in office a reality, Sahara Reporters had reported.
In other news, the APC chapter in Mashi LG, Katsina State, asked the member representing Mashi/ Dutsi federal constituency in the House of Representatives, Mansur Mashi, to resign over his ‘abusive comments’ on the president.
A party official said his failure to do this may lead to his constituency recalling him.
The official quoted the lawmaker as saying, ‘Buhari had to leave the scene the way the late (late ex-president) Yar’Adua did,’ so that his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, would take over, and that such is the only way Nigeria could make progress before 2023.’
And on Saturday, gunmen kidnapped the wife and son of the late former Speaker of Edo State, Zakawanu Garuba.
The two victims were abducted while travelling from Abuja to Auchi with other relatives for the burial rites of Mr Garuba when they were attacked by gunmen.
Mr Garuba had died earlier on Saturday in Abuja as a result of an undisclosed illness.