Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The presidential panel investigating the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, has entered its third day of proceedings at the Presidential Villa Wednesday.
As was the case on Monday and Tuesday, journalists were once again barred from gaining access to the venue of the meeting.
A source confirmed that the embattled EFCC boss, who faced the panel on Monday and Tuesday and has been in detention since Monday night, appeared on Wednesday for more interrogation for the third time by the panel.
The source said Magu was brought before the Justice Ayo Salami-led presidential panel at 11.44 am by the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID).
He was said to have been joined later by his lawyer at the meeting.
Magu is answering questions over 21 corruption allegations levelled against him by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Malam Abubakar Malami.
An attempt by a journalist to park his car at the parking lot of the old Banquet Hall venue of the meeting was resisted by a security officer at the gate.
He was advised by an official in charge of the vicinity to make use of other car parks.
Another reporter who attempted to access the press gallery was also politely turned back at the gate.
The leadership vacuum created by the absence of Magu at the EFCC headquarters at Jabi has continued in contrast to reports mainly by online media that he had been suspended by President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, as no one was overseeing the activities of the commission.
A source volunteered that the next officer in rank to Magu could not take charge of the commission’s activities because there was neither a directive to that effect from the
president nor any official proclamation assigning anyone to take charge of the commission’s activities.
The source added that senior officers of the commission were very careful in handling the activities of the commission Wednesday in view of the controversies surrounding Magu’s arrest, interrogation and detention.
A source said, “Technically, the Director of Operations is supposed to act on behalf of the chairman, but because of the prevailing circumstances, he has to wait for directives although he may attend to some files on behalf of the Chairman.”
A presidency source had on Tuesday said the probe was an affirmation that no one under the Buhari administration is above scrutiny.
The source had also explained that the interrogation of the EFCC head is being done to give him the opportunity to clear his name of the weighty allegations levelled against him.