Mr Ayo Olowonihi was a level 17 officer at the EFCC and Commandant (Director) of the commission’s academy in 2015 when Ibrahim Magu was appointed Acting Chairman of EFCC. After putting in almost 15 years in the service of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), he had elected to retire voluntarily and later joined the EFCC.
Following the exit of Ibrahim Larmode, Olowonihi was one of those in the commission who were eminently qualified to replace him. He ostensibly lobbied for the top job. Magu, then Director of Operations under Lamorde, also lobbied for the job through the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA). As luck would have it, Magu was chosen to replace Larmode.
Little did Olowonihi know that his ambition to replace Lamorde did not go down well with Magu. For daring to nurse the ambition to become EFCC chairman, Olowonihi must be taught a lesson.
After trying unsuccessfully to get an operative of the commission to lie against him, checking through his records to try to find anything that could be used against him, and finding nothing, and after inquiring from his former employer, NDLEA, if he did any wrong that could be used to nail him and also finding nothing, Magu caused a phoney query to be issued to Olowonihi.
In the query dated December 22, 2015, Olowonihi was accused of sponsoring negative publications against the EFCC in an online medium. He did not only deny the allegations but said he was the first person to draw the attention of Larmode to the publications since he was the chairman when the said reports were published. Olowonihi said his emails and bank accounts were investigated, but nothing incriminating or linking him to the publications was found. Yet, he was arrested, detained, and forced to make statements under caution. Not satisfied, Magu caused a suspension letter to be issued to him to enable the commission to investigate the allegations against him, citing a defective EFCC Staff Regulations Handbook 2007.