About 21 policemen attached to the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, were on Friday withdrawn, moments after President Muhammadu Buhari approved his suspension from duties and approved Mohammed Umar as replacement.
Also retrieved from Magu were all official vehicles.
Late on Friday, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, directed the immediate withdrawal of all police operatives serving in the EFCC.
The directive, which was contained in a signal to the Assistant Inspector General, Police Mobile Force Squadrons 1 to 79, Force Secretary and Commissioners of Police of all the state commands and the Federal Capital Territory, also directed that the exact number withdrawn be replaced with new operatives.
According to the order, only staff of EFCC should be allowed access into the premises, while withdrawn police personnel from PMF 21, 44, 45, 46 and 50 must report to the Force Headquarters by 8am on Monday.
But it could not be immediately confirmed whether Magu and his family would be evicted from his official quarters in the highbrow Maitama District, Abuja.
There were indications on Friday night that Magu might face fresh hurdles following submission of more petitions against him to the Presidential Investigation Committee headed by Justice Isa Ayo Salami (retd).
Magu’s lawyers are of the opinion that the fresh petitions are not part of the 22 allegations the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), originally filed against him.
Investigation by our correspondent revealed that Magu’s escort vehicles and policemen were recalled at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa when he appeared before the panel.
“All the 21 policemen, including escorts, attached to Magu were withdrawn at about 4.30pm,” a well-placed source said.
“The official vehicles were recalled from the Villa to the pool on the spot.
“Although we are awaiting signal we have been told that about 200 policemen in Abuja and Lagos offices have been directed to go back to their various formations.”
It was also gathered that a shake-up is imminent in EFCC.
A source said: “Redeployment, swapping and restructuring are statutory whenever there is a change of guards.
“Since Magu is on suspension, there are limited perks of office he can enjoy.
“He knows better as a Commissioner of Police.
“There is a new Acting Chairman of EFCC, Mr. Mohammed Umar.
“And it is the responsibility of the police and other security agencies to provide full security apparatchik for the new helmsman.
“Besides, Umar needs a new team of officers to work with to avoid a case of double loyalty.”
Sources also said more petitions against Magu had been forwarded to the Salami panel.
Magu’s lawyers said the petitions fell outside the presidential mandate of the panel.
It could not be immediately confirmed whether the petitions would be referred to the Force Criminal Investigation Department by the panel.
One of the lawyers said: “Why is it that nobody is asking for the propriety of the panel sitting without disclosing how many petitions are before it?
“We just gathered that there are other petitions apart from Malami’s allegations.
“The panel must disclose these issues in order to ensure fairness and justice.”