In a bid to save the job of the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, a former Chairman of the EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ali Ndume; the National Security Adviser, Major Gen. Babagana Monguno, yesterday paid a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari at the villa.
The trio are said to have met the president to persuade him into resubmitting the name of Magu to the senate for reconsideration.
Findings, however, showed that the President had yet to take a final decision on the report of the DSS, which stated that Magu was not eligible for the post.
It was gathered that the President was keen on conducting an independent investigation into the allegations against Magu in the DSS report.
It will be recalled that the president had instructed the Attorney-General of the Federation to investigate the involvement of any top government officials accused of any wrong-doing. If any of them are liable, they will not escape prosecution.
Although the directive did not specifically mention any of the top government officials, the DSS, in the report, had said Magu had failed integrity test and would be unfit to drive the anti-graft fight of the government.
Besides Magu, other top government officials recently accused of corruption include the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal, and the Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Abba Kyari.
It was gathered that Malami was expected to forward the reports on his investigations to the President in January, which would determine the fate of the government officials.
A source said the findings of the investigation would determine if Magu would be dropped or not.
While it is not clear the details of the meeting the president had with the trio, a reliable source said a private meeting between Buhari and Ndume on Monday was part of efforts to save the EFCC boss.
According to a source, “Ndume is very close to the President and one of his closest supporters. The Senate Leader’s visit to Buhari was private but Magu’s issue was raised.
“Ndume made the President to understand that there is a conspiracy against the man but the truth will always prevail and evil will never succeed over evil. Somebody must be there to do the job and it cannot be business as usual.
“Ndume told the President that the Senate had not rejected Magu. He also told the President that the content of the DSS report was not an indictment but mere allegations, the reason why the President ordered the Attorney-General of the Federation to conduct an investigation.”
Meanwhile, Malami, on Monday, met separately with Buhari and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, as part of the plan to investigate top government officials accused of corruption.
A source in the Presidency said Malami had earlier met with Osinbajo before he met Buhari.
When asked why the government officials under investigation were not asked to step aside for thorough investigations, a top government official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described the investigation to be done by the AGF as an interim one.
“Why will they be stepping aside by this time? The investigation has to start somewhere; this is a preliminary investigation. If the AGF later sees something that can hinder investigation, they may be asked to step aside,” the source said.
The source dismissed permutations that some former governors in Buhari’s cabinet could be among those to be investigated as a few of them had been accused of corruption by their state governors.
He added, “Where is the report? Were they indicted through a judicial or parliamentary process?”