President Buhari hits EFCC with a purge, suspends Secretary Olukoyede, 11 others

Executive Secretary of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Olanipekun Olukoyede

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has suspended about 12 senior officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, P.M News reports.

The notice of suspension was communicated to the Acting Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Mohammed Umar, on Tuesday night by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The suspension of the about 12 senior officials is connected to the probe of alleged atrocities committed under the leadership of Ibrahim Magu, the disgraced and suspended Chairman of the EFCC.

According to P.M News, sources close to the presidency disclosed on Tuesday night that the executive secretary of the EFCC, Olanipekun Olukoyede was not spared the sweeping suspension at the agency.

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P.M News, the Nigerian newspaper reported that a source said: “they were suspended for various alleged criminal and corrupt infractions”, so as to not compromise ongoing investigations into alleged corruption leveled against the officials.

“All the top officials in the agency have been suspended, their offices locked, to prevent any tampering with files at the commission”, the source added.

President Buhari suspended Ibrahim Magu, the former acting chairman of the agency last week and appointed the director of operations, Mohammed Umar Abba, to lead the agency in acting capacity.

It was said that Umar was spared the sweeping suspension because he was not culpable in the alleged criminal dealings leveled against Magu and some senior officers.

Following his confirmation by the Senate in November 2018, Olukoyede was appointed the Secretary to the EFCC.

The senior member of the Nigerian Bar Association was first a chief of staff to Magu, and later ascend to the position of Secretary of the EFCC after the five-year tenure of Emmanuel Aremo expired in July 2018.

The former acting chairman of the agency is facing for the second week, grilling by the presidential panel headed by Justice Ayo Salami, over financial allegations and improprieties, including money laundering.

He is facing tough questioning over allegations that he re-looted funds recovered by the commission. And that he accepted bribes to pervert cases of graft.

He is also accused of mismanagement of recovered assets by the EFCC.

Among the issues Magu is helping the panel to resolve are wide discrepancies in figures of recovered monies published by the agency.

The panel has also asked him to react to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit(NFIU) report accusing him of siphoning money from the EFCC.

NFIU report showed that a particular Bureau de Change, owned by Ahmed Ibrahim Shanono linked to the Acting Chairman based in Kaduna has more than 158 accounts and has been receiving huge sums of funds.

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The report also accused Magu of laundering money through Pastor Emmanuel Omale of Hand of God Prophetic Ministry.

Omale was alleged to have bought a landed property on behalf of Magu worth N573 million in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

“Another individual who is helping in laundering funds for the Acting Chairman and who has been referred to in several petitions is one Pastor Emmanuel Omale (Hand of God Prophetic Ministry)” a source quoted by P.M News stated.