No matter how many times you google his name, you are most unlikely to get any useful information or any photograph — that is if you get any photograph at all. In fact, Ibrahim Magu has only one photograph in the public space, taken by James Wallace of NPR. The pixels are so small you will struggle to see his face. Welcome to the world of Magu, a deputy commissioner of police and the newly appointed acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
His little frame will easily deceive you, but he is one of the toughest interrogators the anti-graft commission has had in its history — one that even former governors under investigation specifically begged not to be interrogated by.
Magu was one of the officers who investigated Ibori and came up with the indictment that was used against him in court. The eventual weakening of EFCC was linked to this particular case, and posting Magu to Delta was bound to be seen as not just humiliation but also an indirect sentence to live in fear.
Recently, Magu was appointed by the government of Buhari to investigate the purchase of arms by the armed forces under the previous administration. The 14-man panel is investigating how some of the retired military chiefs spent the votes for arms while they were in office.
The panel, inaugurated by Babagana Monguno, the national security adviser, was asked to investigate, among others, $466.5m contract to weaponise six Puma helicopters by Jonathan administration; N3billion contract for the supply of six units of K-38 patrol boats to the disbanded Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Security (PICOMSS) and theft of over €200m by PICOMMS, including the purchase of two private jets.
Other allegations were: the $9.3m cash-for-arms deal seized by South Africa; whereabouts of $1billion loan approved by the 7th senate for arms purchase to fight Boko Haram; what became of unaccessed N7b budget for the military and the contract for the rehabilitation of the Military Reference Hospital in Kaduna.
Little did Magu know that he was only preparing to become the country’s anti-corruption