The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has confirmed that the agency recommended the suspension of the six directors in the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
Magu, who appeared before the House Committee on Emergency and Disaster Preparedness investigating the activities of NEMA, said that the recommendation was given by the EFCC based on an interim report of its investigation.
The suspension of the directors has been a subject of controversy, but Magu’s revelation may help to reduce tension the suspension may have engender
Magu said: “We received a petition in December 2017 and we went into the investigation proper. At a level, an interim position was provided and that those whose evidence of wrongdoing has been established to be suspended in order not to hinder the investigation.”
The EFCC boss, who pleaded with the committee to allow him to provide the requested documentary evidence, told the panel that the investigation had not been concluded and being a criminal issue, the affected officers cannot be allowed into office to prevent the probe from being hindered.
He said: “There’s a difference between disciplinary and criminal procedures and at different stages of investigation, the interest of the state and that of the person under investigation must be balanced.
“Investigation didn’t just get to suspension, it was a process, and our recommendation was to maintain the integrity of the investigation and prejudice aganst it.
“Their case hasn’t been determined yet, they’ll be reinstated if nothing is found gains them at the end of the day.”
The Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, who threw more light on the development, said that the suspension of the directors and staff members of the agency was in order and in line with Public Service Rules.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Committee had said Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had written a letter to say because of his busy schedule, the Secretary of the Governing Council, who is also the DG of NEMA or members of the Council present at the hearing would answer questions meant for him.