Anti Corruption: Brethren on a Collision Course

Anti Corruption: Brethren on a Collision Course

AREWA AGENDA – All may not be well in the Buhari administrations fight against corruption as two cardinal front liners of the effort, Abubakar Malami and Ibrahim Magu are set to collide over allegations of insubordination and diversion of recoverd funds.

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), has recommend to President Muhammadu Buhari the sacking of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu.

Malami, in a memorandum to the president, anchored his recommendation on several grounds “raging from diversion of recovered loot to insubordination and misconduct” by Magu,

Multiple sources said that Malami included a short list of three candidates for consideration to replace Magu.

Magu and Malami both Northerners from Borno and Kebbi State respectively, have been at the helm of Nigeria’s war on corruption since the coming of the Buhari regime with Malami serving as Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, while Magu serves as the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, remaining unconfirmed for about five years.

With the latest attempt to remove him from office by the AG, sources say Magu is fighting back and his supporters within the Presidency believes that ” removing Magu at this time when he has given muscle to Buhari’s anti-corruption fight would be a mistake.”

“It is painful that the EFCC boss is facing certain powerful forces who have decided to remove him in spite of his remarkable achievements,” sources stated.

But sources said given the weight of Malami’s allegations against Magu, the president may be inclined “to set up a probe panel that will look into the veracity of the allegations and make necessary recommendations.”

One of the sources told select journalists that “I can authoritatively tell you that though Magu has survived previous plots to remove him, the AGF’s legal opinion remains the deadliest plot to get Magu out of the EFCC as AGF’s letter to the president contained 22 weighty allegations that require Buhari’s decision on whether or not to send Magu’s name to the Senate for confirmation or replace him….. This is because the office of the AGF is the supervising ministry of the EFCC and so his legal opinion cannot be treated with levity.

Allegations of plots to boot out Magu has been rife and recurring over the years.

The plot for his removal twice stalled his confirmation by the Eighth Senate, prompting him to remain the interim head of the nation’s foremost anti-graft agency.

However, when the presidency insisted on Magu being confirmed, the previous Senate demanded the reversal of a damning security report on the EFCC boss from the Department of State Services (DSS), which it had cited as the reason for his non-confirmation.

Many groups and individuals had also gone to court to challenge the continued stay of Magu as the acting chairman of the commission.

But Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja, in a judgment delivered in 2019 over consolidated suits on Magu status, had held that there was no time limit in the law establishing the commission for him to act as the EFCC boss.

Lately, National Chairman of the Zenith Labour Party, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu accused unnamed influential Nigerians of working behind the scene to remove the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, from office.

He said: “I am talking about the situation as it concerns one of the cardinal programmes of President Muhammadu Buhari which is the anti corruption fight. Intelligence has reached us that there is an attempt and in fact that they have gone on to actualize this attempt by putting together hundreds of millions of naira.

“Former office holders in the country and those that are facing trial have put the huge sums of money together to influence government functionaries and those very close to the president so that the one who has been driving this anti corruption fight, in the person Ibrahim Mustapha Magu would be removed as quickly as possible.”

Nwanyanwu added that he involvement in the anti-corruption crusade has nothing to do personally with Magu, saying, “We have been involved in it even before Magu was appointed Even when the senate didn’t want to confirm him, we made our position very clear.

The Anti-Corruption boss himself have not been relenting in the fight against corruption.

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu says the anti-graft agency has recovered N980bn in the last five years.

Magu disclosed this on Thursday, June 11, 2020, while speaking at a press conference to mark the 2020 Democracy Day in Abuja.

He also made it known that the EFCC was investigating serving and former state governors for graft including those who connived with them.

The EFCC boss, however, refused to mention the governors that are being investigated saying that could hinder the investigation.

Ibrahim Magu is a Nigerian police officer who was appointed Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 9 November 2015 after chairman Ibrahim Lamorde who had earlier served twice,, was sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari. Both Lamorde and Magu served during Nuhu Ribadu’s time at the anti-graft agency and were also credited with part of the success Ribadu recorded in his time.

Arewa Agenda is a Publication of young writers from Northern Nigeria towards peaceful coexistence and national development through positive narratives.

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