Fight Against Corruption: Whither Nigeria?
NEWS DIGEST – Ever since the invention of money, thieves have developed many tactics and ways to steal the money that does not belong to them. Larceny, Embezzlement, Misappropriation are the common forms of theft crimes.
The embattled Chairman of The Economic Financial and Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, was reported to have both embezzled and misappropriated the money recovered by the commission. It is suffice to say he (Magu) was alleged to have re-looted some of the recovered funds.
It would be recalled that Magu was nominated twice by Mr. Buhari and rejected twice by the 8th Assembly of the Senate due to a white paper sent by the Department of State Security Service that Magu did not pass the integrity test.
Ibrahim Magu was arrested on Monday – 6th July, 2020 by the SSS and compelled to appear before a panel led by Justice Ayo Salami (SAN)l to respond to allegation of infractions against him – charges of alleged discrepancies in the reconciliation records in recovered funds, insubordination, disobeying court orders among others. The panel has been given absolute freedom by the President to probe and recommend whatever can lead to a complete overhaul of the commission.
Magu was quizzed over 39bn, 7 crude oil-laden ships, 380 houses assets and many more. He was drilled by the panel on the activities of the agency so far and the amount of money recovered by the commission.
After good four days of drilling, the Salami’s panel has submitted its preliminary report and recommendations to the President. Mr. Buhari has approved the suspension of Ibrahim Magu as the acting chairman of the EFCC and ordered the Director of Operations to begin acting pending apointment, nomination and confirmation of a new Chairman.
Before President Buhari assumed power on 26/2/2025, he said, “On corruption, there will be no confusion as to where l stand. Corruption will have no place and the corrupt will not be appointed into my administration” – Is this administration really fighting corruption? Is this administration not seeding and initiating another level of corruption? With Magu, is this administration free of corrupt people?
Similarly, on 26/3/2015, Me. Buhari said, “…if Nigeria does not kill corruption, corruption will kill Nigeria. We must not allow Nigeria to die…” With people like Magu, where are we heading to?
Where are the allegations of corruption made by Abdulmumin Jibrin Kofa on the leaders of the 8th national assembly? What about the incessant looting of humanitarian assistance? What about the cases of Babachir David Lawal and Oke Ayo; Abdulrasheed Maina, Abdulrahman Danbazau former Minister of Internal Affairs, Kano State Governor Adbdullahi Umar Ganduje, the case involving Chief of Army Staff General Yusuf Buratai among others?
Did Buhari set himself free or defend his character in the case of MTN fine where his late Chief of Staff was alleged to have helped himself to 500m bribe?
What did Buhari do in the case of the officials who annually pad the budget or divert monies into their private pockets, loot resources such as the Global Funds?
Even though, President Buhari gave Magu the benefit of the doubt after he was rejected twice by upper chamber — the failure of Ibrahim Magu at the EFCC could be alluded to the Buhari’s incessant nomination and insistence that Magu must chair the EFCC. Mr. Buhari has been re-newing Magu’s appointment every year for five years on acting capacity. With due respect, this is wrong! No any public figure any where in the world will be allowed to work on acting capacity for over six months with heavy allegations.
Magu was accused of being biased, partial and selective in carrying out his duties. An allegation of infractions is mounting at the moment with the invitation of the heads of various departments within the agency.
Magu has lost the trust and respect of the President, the institution he led, the good people of Nigeria, his family and friends as well as his well-wishers.
Magu has besmirched the integrity and reputation of the EFCC and grossly disgraced and abused our country.
Magu would be remembered for his inability to maintain the integrity and reputation of the institution he presided since 2015. Before he was nominated, he cast the image of a serious, hardworking and upright officer considering the important contributions he made since the creation of the commission.
The emergence of Ibrahim Magu as the acting chairman of EFCC from nomination to suspension is a situation of interest to history and a test and show of evocative power play the country has ever witnessed in recent times. It appears that Magu deployed all available tactics at his disposal to ensure that he was appointed as the acting chairman of the commission.
The commission was chaired by four officers and they all left in a controversial way. It is suffice to say that EFCC is chronically sick if not terminally.
The EFCC needs reformation and strong intervention at the moment to revive the glory of the past. The commission must be completely overhauled. We dignity and integrity in the commission. The world is watching us at the moment. We must act very quickly to do what is expected of us.
Ibrahim Magu is a brilliant officer as they say, but obviously, he is lacking in spirit. Ibrahim Magu showed that he is naive and lacks courage.
By Muazu Muazu
A public affairs analyst from Kano