The Senate on Thursday, rejected the nomination of Ibrahim Magu, as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) following a “security report” before it.
The said security report was from the Department of State Security (DSS), and the report cleared 4 other nominees of the anti-graft agency, Nasule Moses, Lawan Maman, Garandaji Imam Naji and Adeleke Adebayo Rafiu.
Magu was accused of having links to a “questionable businessman,” who has been arrested by the DSS, and a bank MD, who is being investigated by the EFCC.
Read the report below, as published by TheCable:
Investigation on the chairmanship of Magu revealed that in August 2008 during the tenure of Farida Waziri as the commission’s chairman, some sensitive documents which were not supposed to be at the disposal of Magu were discovered in his house. He was subsequently redeployed to the police after days of detention and later suspended from the police force.
In December 2010, the Police Service Commission (PSC) found Magu guilty of action prejudicial to state security – withholding of EFCC files, sabotage, unauthorised removal of EFCC files and acts unbecoming of a police officer, and awarded him severe reprimand as punishment.
Notwithstanding, sequel to the appointment of Ibrahim Lamorde as chairman, he made the return of Magu to the EFCC a top priority. Magu remained a top official of the commission until he was appointed to succeed Lamorde.
Magu is currently occupying a residence rented for N40m at N20m per annum. This accommodation was not paid [for] from the commission’s finances, but by one Umar Mohammed, air commodore retired, a questionable businessman who has subsequently been arrested by the secret service.
For the furnishing of the residence, Magu enlisted the Federal Capital Development Authority to award a contract to Africa Energy, a company owned by the same Mohammed, at the cost of N43m.
Investigations show that the acting EFCC chairman regularly embarked on official and private trips through a private jet owned by Mohammed.
In one of such trips, Magu flew to Maiduguri alongside Mohammed with a bank MD who was being investigated by the EFCC over complicity in funds allegedly stolen by the immediate past petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Furthermore, the EFCC boss has so far maintained a high-profile lifestyle. This is exemplified by his preference for first-class air travels. On 24 June, 2016, he flew Emirate airlines first-class to Saudi Arabia to perform lesser hajj at the cost of N2.9m. This is in spite of Mr President’s directive to all public servants to fly economy class.
Magu has fostered a beneficial relationship with Mohammed who by his confession approaches clients for possible exploitation, favours and associated returns.
Reacting to the rejection, Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Anti-Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay, told PUNCH:
The Senate doesn’t appoint a chairman of the EFCC; what it does is to confirm an appointment. If it doesn’t confirm, then, he will remain acting, he doesn’t become substantive but the powers of acting or substantive chairman are the same; it is just a difference in nomenclature.
So, any act of bad faith to slow down the corruption war is misplaced and it won’t work. It is sad that people will go to that extent of rejecting what is good for the country for their selfish reasons because they think it is not convenient for them. So this is preference for self-preservation at the expense of the nation and the people of the country.
They (Nigerians) must show that they are interested and affected by the misery and poverty that have been caused by looting. They must come out and fight and join in the struggle; otherwise, they will wake up one day and realise that there is no country again.
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), said the Senate has not officially rejected Magu’s nomination.
“What the law says is that the Senate shall confirm an EFCC chairman; not an executive session, not a committee and the Senate has not done this. So, the Senate has not rejected him and if you look at what has been done, they are saying they received a security report for which reason they are not considering his nomination.”