Abba Kyari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, along with the Director General of the Department of State Security (DSS) and newspaper publisher Nduka Obaigbena, has commenced a full-scale war against Ibrahim Magu, the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)..

Under the scheme, Magu will be replaced with a man, already identified, who is more amenable to the ways of Mr. Kyari and other kitchen cabinet persons.

Sources at the Presidency said there has been a cold war between Magu and members of the President’s kitchen cabinet, who seek to interfere with ongoing corruption cases at the EFCC.

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Matters reportedly came to a head recently when SaharaReporters did an exposé that revealed how the Chief of Staff perverted an investigation that the commission had commenced against a powerful indigenous oil company, Sahara Energy, with Mr. Kyari directly accusing Magu of being the brain behind the leaking of the story.

Related issues of contention include the planned commencement of the trial of Jide Omokore, a shady businessman known to have been involved in multi-billion oil deals with former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke. The Chief of Staff had apparently assured Mr. Omokore that he would not be prosecuted by the EFCC.

Our sources revealed that Magu’s letter of nomination to the Senate for confirmation was delayed by the Chief of Staff and the Attorney General of the Federation because of Magu’s “intransigence.”

On the part of the DSS, sources within the administration say Magu was held to have stepped on their toes by constantly questioning why they usurped the role of EFCC in carrying out raids into the homes of corrupt former government officials, which is the domain of the EFCC. The DSS reportedly raided at least 30 homes of officials and aides of former President Goodluck Jonathan, but only managed to deliver a meager N47m and $1.943m. Worse still, some of the monies recovered were never delivered to the federal government treasury and during reconciliation, some of the foreign currencies were found to be fake.

In that connection, the sources cited the February raid on the Abuja home of the son of Ngozi Olojeme, who was axed as Chair of Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund after Buhari came to power. While the DSS agents reportedly found $500,000, only $50,000 was delivered to the Treasury. Olojeme was never prosecuted either, where she would have revealed exactly how much money she lost.

The tension between the EFCC and the DSS grew to unimaginable proportions until yesterday when the DSS raided the home of a member of the Arms Probe Committee, Air Commodore Umar Muhammed (rtd.) who reportedly had $1.5million hidden in the premises in Abuja from bribes he purportedly received on behalf of other panel members. The reporting of the story appeared in Thisday newspaper, owned by Nduka Obaigbena, the publisher of which had been forced by the EFCC to return monies he collected from the office of the National Security Adviser for a contract that was never implemented.

Knowledgeable sources in government and law enforcement told SaharaReporters last night that Obaigbena was stopped from traveling to the United Kingdom last weekend by airport immigration officials who told him he was on the EFCC no-fly list.

The sources say Mr. Kyari, a former member of the Editorial Board of ThisDay, then intervened, following which Obaigbena was eventually allowed to travel the next day. He is now in London. Sources at the EFCC said that by securing Obaigbena’s travels, Mr. Kyari, and the DSS DG apparently obtained his cooperation to commence a media war on the chairperson of the agency.

Despite Obaigbena being on the security watch list of the EFCC, Mr. Kyari and Information Minister Lai Mohammed recently organized a high-profile meeting between President Buhari and the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN) at the Presidential Villa in which the publisher featured prominently. Mr. Mohammed had his issues with Magu as well, as the EFCC boss hadfrozen about N10b in funds of the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) as former officials there began last-minute looting.Mohammed intervened to get Magu to unfreeze the account so that it could be used while he awaited approval of his budget, but Magu refused.

T[b]he minister also reportedly sent a request to the EFCC chairman to return monies retrieved from Obaigbena and other newspaper proprietors who were caught in the $2.1b scandal,[/b] but Magu also refused to budge. Furthermore, Mr. Magu and his officials are said to have extended their probe to include others in the media that include another publisher, Comfort Obi, whose account was also frozen.SaharaReporters has it on indisputable authority that the Chief of Staff and Mr. Mohammed took those proprietors to meet with President Buhari, but it is unclear if he gave them any concessions.

ThisDay’s role in releasing information about the arrest of the retired Air Commodore accused of receiving a bribe was consolidated as his travel ban was lifted, one source revealed.

Speaking to SaharaReporters by phone from London on

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