A tighter security ring has been thrown around Ibrahim Magu and key officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after a gun attack on its Abuja office.
Also being protected are the EFCC Acting Chairman’s mother, who lives in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
The new security measures were taken after some gunmen yesterday attacked the agency’s office in Abuja.
The annex office is where high-profile suspects are investigated.
The gunmen stormed the facility at about 5a.m. shooting. They were repelled by guards.
They dropped a death threat for a senior investigator, Ishaku Sharu, who heads the Foreign Exchange Malpractices Fraud.
Sharu is saddled with the ongoing probe of several politically exposed persons and retired military chiefs.
The EFCC has reported the attack to the Police. Detectives have been deployed to investigate the incident.
Some forensic and ballistic experts are said to be part of the police probe team.
A statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of the anti-graft commission, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, said: “A major security breach was recorded at the headquarters of the EFCC in the early hours of Wednesday, August 16, 2017 as unknown gunmen attacked the office located at Wuse Zone 7, Abuja.
“The group of heavily armed bandits invaded the office at about 05.00 hours and began shooting into the premises, damaging vehicles parked in the premises in the process. However, the attack was repelled by guards on duty.
“The hoodlums escaped in a getaway vehicle but not without leaving a message; a white envelope dropped by the fleeing attackers was found to contain a death threat addressed to Ishaku Sharu, a senior investigator with the Commission.
“Sharu, who heads the Foreign Exchange Malpractices Fraud Section, is in charge of corruption investigation involving several politically exposed persons and retired military brass hats.
“The attack on the Zone 7 office, which houses the Commission’s AMCON Desk, Procurement Fraud and Foreign Exchange Malpractices Sections, is coming few weeks after another investigator, Austin Okwor, was shot and injured by unknown assailants in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
“The latest incident has already been reported to the police for investigation.”
An EFCC source said most top officers managing high-profile cases had been receiving threat messages in the past few months.
“None of us has been spared, but we did not envisage that the situation will degenerate to violent attacks on our office.
“Security has been beefed up at the affected annex office and other strategic safe houses of EFCC,” the source said.
The EFCC has been operating from makeshift offices and safe houses in Abuja.
Although the Federal Government on November 27, 2010 awarded the contract for the EFCC’s permanent headquarters to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc for N18.86 billion, the project could not be completed within the three-year timeline – no thanks to paucity of funds.
The Federal Executive Council on April 26, approved N5 billion more for the construction of the headquarters.
During a visit to the site, House of Representatives Speaker Yakubu Dogara assured that the EFCC would move to its permanent headquarters this year.
He said: “Our conviction is that where the EFCC currently operates does not give the good impression to first time visitors in Nigeria or people who come to Nigeria to interface with the agency as it is said that first impression counts a lot. I will be the happiest person to see that the EFCC resumes operation in the new building by December.”