World News

Nigeria suspends anti-graft chief during investigation into agency

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria has suspended the head of its anti-corruption body, the attorney general’s office said on Friday, days after the attorney general accused the agency of diverting funds that had been recovered during investigations into graft.

Ibrahim Magu, head of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has been appearing before a presidential panel reviewing its activities this week. Attorney General Abubakar Malami told the panel EFCC agents had been steering recovered funds into private pockets.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the immediate suspension of Ibrahim Magu as Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),” the attorney general’s office said in a statement.

EFCC operations director Mohammed Umar would be placed in charge pending the outcome of Magu’s case.

Buhari has made tackling corruption a priority since taking office in 2015. Nigerians blame endemic graft among the political elite dating back decades for widespread poverty in the country, Africa’s biggest economy and energy producer.

Reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram, Camillus Eboh and Felix Onuah; Writing by Chijioke Ohuocha