A media aide has said the suspended boss of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission Ibrahim Magu never gave N4 billion to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Laolu Akande said the reports that Osinbajo ordered Magu to give him the money from the recovered looted funds were “lies”.
“These are totally false and baseless fabrications purporting to reflect goings-on at the Probe Panel investigating Mr Ibrahim Magu,” Akande said in a statement on Wednesday. “They are indeed completely absurd in every respect.”
Magu is being questioned by a presidential panel for allegedly cornering properties recovered from corrupt officials.
The questioning comes after Nigeria’s attorney general in June sent a memo to President Muhammadu Buhari detailing a raft of allegations against Magu that were leaked to the press.
The attorney general accused the anti-graft head of selling off assets recovered during corruption investigations and of “insubordination”.
Critics said the moves aimed at getting rid of Magu and part of a tussle for control at the top of Nigeria’s notoriously opaque elite.
Pointblanknews.com, owned by government critic Jackson Ude, claimed that Osinbajo ordered Magu to release the funds “very day the president left the country for the United Kingdom on medical treatment.”
President Muhammadu Buhari has travelled to the United Kingdom for medical care more than once.
The first medical trip to London, on June 6, 2016, which lasted for 10 days, was over an ear infection, while the second lasted 51 days for an undisclosed ailment. He was away for 104 days, from May 8, 2017, till August 19, 2017, for his third medical trip to the UK.
On September 21, he left from the US to the UK for the fourth medical trip and returned to Nigeria on September 25, 2017.
In his fifth medical trip to London, Buhari was from May 8, 2018, and he returned on May 11.
The report by Pointblank News did not say when Osinbajo supposedly gave the order.
“Such mindless, vicious and reckless publications have now become the preferred tool of unscrupulous and reprobate elements in our society who are procured with monetary inducement to peddle blatant falsehood, tarnish the image of upright public officials and mislead unsuspecting Nigerians,” Akande said.