United States Ambassador to Nigeria W. Stuart Symington and his key staff have met Acting Economic and Financial Crimes Commission( EFCC) Chairman Ibrahim Magu on the allegations levelled against him by the Department of State Services (DSS). The meeting was held on Friday, a source told The Nation. Magu was said to have told the team that
he was innocent of all the allegations raised by the security agency, which aborted his confirmation as EFCC Chairman by the Senate. It was an informal session, the source said. It was learnt that the session was part of the Embassy’s interest in the nation’s anti-corruption campaign. It was gathered that the interaction might assist the US team to have a broader appraisal of the controversy on Magu’s nomination, which was not considered by the Upper Chamber.
The source said: “The US Embassy took on Magu on every issue in the DSS report to ascertain whether or not he committed the infractions levelled against him. “The team wanted to know if Magu had indeed failed the integrity test which made the United States to support him. “The Acting EFCC chairman responded to every issue without betraying his emotion. At the end, Magu said he was innocent of all the allegations against him. “He said he has also responded to the query given to him by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN),” the source said, pleading not to be named because he is not allowed to talk to the media on the issue. Responding to a question, the source said: “The U.S. Embassy team was satisfied with Magu’s response.
The Ambassador and others later took a photograph with him.” “With this session, we are hopeful that the US support for the anti-corruption campaign of President Muhammadu Buhari will be more enhanced,” the source added. Following the persistent intrigues over Magu’s fate, some donor agencies, anti-graft war partners and foreign missions have been anxious about the future of the battle. Most of them were said to be sympathetic to the retention of Magu whom they have rated high.
The DSS alleged that Magu’s accommodation in Abuja was paid for by a “corrupt businessman” and that he flew first class to Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj, contrary to federal government’s directive to its officials not to travel in the elite cabin. Magu was also accused of being illegally in possession of confidential EFCC documents when he was a director in 2007. He was queried by Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami who was nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the allegations.