Abdulsalami Abubakar, a former military head of state, has debunked reports that his residence at Minna was raided by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Abdulsalami made the clarification in a statement signed by his military assistant, J. Mfon, a retired army captain, in reaction to a claim made by Olusegun Adeniyi, a former presidential spokesperson and current Chairman of ThisDay editorial board.
Adeniyi had in a piece in his weekly column with ThisDay entitled: “Magu and the Abuja Power Game”, on Thursday revealed that Ibrahim Magu, the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), purportedly investigated Abdulsalami and Theophilus Danjuma, a former defence minister, without President Muhammadu Buhari knowing.
He stated that Magu had purportedly authorised the raiding of Abdulsalami’s Minna residence.
Abdulsalami acknowledged that EFCC officials truly appeared at his guest house in Tunga, Niger State, in 2017.
But the former head of state explained that the officials of the anti-graft agency mistakenly came to his house, adding that none of his residences has never been searched by the agency or any other security outfit.
The statement read: “The attention of His Excellency General A A A Abubakar has been drawn to reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) searched his house in Minna, Niger State, on the orders of its Acting Chairman, CP Ibrahim Magu, and HE feels the need to put the record straight: HIS HOUSE HAS NEVER BEEN SEARCHED BY EITHER EFCC OR ANY SECURITY AGENCY.
“However, sometime in 2017 operatives of the Commission from Kano zone came to Minna to search a house in Tunga. The team ended up at His Excellency’s Guest House in Minna and told the security officers on duty that they had instructions from their zonal head to search the property.
“The officers said since the numbering of houses in Tunga was haphazard, it must be a case of mistaken identity. When CP Magu was contacted, he said he was not aware of the operation. Thereafter, the EFCC team from Kano left. His Excellency’s understanding is that they realised they came to the wrong address. However, no search was conducted in the guest house.
“His Excellency, as a rule, does not comment on media publications directed at or concerning him. He has taken this step in view of the reactions these reports are generating. His Excellency felt the need to provide this important clarification due to the ongoing media frenzy insinuating His Excellency’s role in Magu’s issue.”
Reacting to the former head of state’s response, Adeniyi said his revelation had been misread by readers into insinuating that both Abdulsalami and Danjuma had a role to play in the current travails of Magu, who has been suspended as acting EFCC Chairman following an investigation of corruption allegations by a presidential panel.
“Yes, General Abdulsalami called me to explain that he had no problem with Magu and that the house in question was a guest house and it was by mistake. Mrs Daisy Danjuma also called me earlier in the day. She confirmed they recently purchased a plane to replace the old one but there was no EFCC problem with the Cheque which she said she signed. She said her husband did not complain about Magu,” Adeniyi told TheCable.
“I think the problem is that some readers are interpreting my anecdote to mean that both Danjuma and Abdulsalami had anything to do with the travails of Magu. I made no such claim in my piece.”