By Bashir Mustapha
Barring any last-minute hitch in game plan, a segment of the Aso Rock Cabal has furiously knocked together a new plot to re-arrest Ibrahim Magu, the former Ag. Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
Sources told Solacebase that the plot has gathered so much momentum in the last few days that Magu could be arrested as early as Tuesday this week and railroaded to court to set the stage of a sequence of events devised to ridicule the President and the first family, oust the newly appointed Inspector General of Police, Alkali Usman Baba, who emerged IGP contrarily to the Cabal’s choice candidate, and thwart the 2023 presidential ambition of the National Leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
‘’Magu’s case file is being exhumed by the Cabal and turned into a silver bullet, in a noxious palace politics that has assumed an even more fearsome dimension, following the surprise emergence of Alkali Usman Baba as IGP. Still reeling from the aftershock of Alkali’s appointment, the Cabal was again stung by the political undercurrents of the launch of a book on the First Lady, Aisha Buhari, a mortal enemy of the Cabal. The book launch, whose most prominent guest was Bola Ahmed Tinubu, another mortal enemy of the Cabal, is seen as part of the opening gambit for the 2023 presidential quest, ‘’the sources said.
According to an Aso Rock insider, the loss of the IGP slot and a provocative book launch combined to ignite an internal firestorm among the Cabal. The Cabal, relying on their much-vaunted positional advantage, is determined not to let the appointment of Alkali to stand.
“The feeling is this: if we are unable to install our candidate as IGP, how will our candidate emerge President come 2023,” he said.
‘’A dangerous political blowback is in the making, as an arm of the Cabal has now resorted to use the case of the former acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, to settle scores. Plans are underway to arrest the former chairman and railroad him to court with unsubstantiated charges, that may range from selling seized assets without approval to many other frivolous and ridiculous charges.’’
Magu had several times challenged his accusers to provide tangible evidence of his misdeeds, but because the plan is simply to embarrass him, even if the case would fail in court, they refused to do so. Since the aim is to humiliate through frivolity, they are bent on charging him to court, in order to discredit the trio of Tinubu, Alkali and the first lady, ‘’said a source.
‘’The Cabal also plan to use the Magu’s case to rubbish the first lady by alleging she has business links with Tinubu, mostly outside the country. The First Lady had been out of the country for months, she only came back a few days ago, shortly before the launching of her book.’’
Tinubu was conspicuously present at the first lady’s book launch last week, where he showered encomiums on her. The book titled, “Aisha Buhari – Being Different” was written by the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Women Affairs and Administration, Hajo Sani.
Tinubu is eying the presidency come 2023, against the interest of this arm of the cabal.
The source noted, ‘’Magu’s crime is his alleged failure to indict Tinubu of corruption allegations, particularly establishing his links with Mr Tunde Fowler, the former chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).’’
‘’Magu is also accused of not investigating the first lady and linking her with financial crimes at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), along with her brother, Muji.’’
‘’The Acting IGP Alkali is from the same zone as Magu, so the Cabal wants to take him by surprise, through the planned arrest of Magu and thereafter embark on a campaign of calumny against the North-East geopolitical zone.’’
‘’According to the Police Act, an officer cannot be charged to court without his case being referred to the police, who would investigate and if found culpable, query and made to appear before a disciplinary committee, comprising all the Deputy Inspector’s General (DIGs). From there he would be charged to court.’’
‘’This has not been done in the case of Magu who is a serving commissioner of police. The report of the Ayo Salami-led Presidential Panel of Inquiry has not even been released, nor given to the police for investigation, ‘’another authoritative source informed Solacebase.
‘’Magu was relieved of his post following a memo to the president by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami whose nephew, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has now taken over as the new EFCC Chairman.’’
‘’There are concerns that, following the planting of Bawa at the EFCC, and his relationship with the AGF, the file of many high profile cases would be recalled by the AGF, with the intent of watering down the charges, or even entering a nolle prosequi.’’
The AGF is politically ambitious and reportedly has his eyes on 2023. Though a member of the ruling APC, Malami is in an opposing camp to Tinubu and the First Lady,’’ the source added.
In a manner similar to what they did in removing the former Director-General of the Department of State Service (DSS), Lawal Daura, while the president was away on medical leave in London, the Cabal plans to arrest Magu and commence attack against Alkali, calculated at denying him confirmation as substantive IGP.