The lawmaker representing Kogi West, Senator Dino Melaye, has declared that the Executive arm of government should rather be blamed for the non-confirmation of Ibrahim Magu by the Senate as the substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, stressing that aside the interview which he failed, a report by the Department of State Services, DSS, suggested that the acting EFCC chairman has integrity issue.
Speaking on Monday in an interview with Arise TV, he stated that the Senate should not be blamed because Magu failed most of the questions he was asked during the screening for confirmation by the upper legislative chamber, stating that in addition to his poor performance, the DSS report on Magu was too weighty to be ignored.
Melaye also disclosed that since Magu became the head of EFCC, he has lost all high-profile cases under his watch, including a case against the former First Lady, Mrs. Patience Jonathan, Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, among others.
According to him, “Magu came for a job interview and failed. If you go for a job interview, you have to go with a mindset to either pass or fail. And every right thinking Nigerian who watched the screening of Magu can attest that he failed the interview.
“Most of the questions asked within the purview of the Senate could not be answered. Even a question was put to him concerning the constitution of EFCC, he could not answer. In one instance, he told us he had submitted a particular report to the presidency. When we asked him to tell us about the report, he still couldn’t answer. He told us the report was not with him at the Senate, so it will be difficult for him to respond. That’s not acceptable.
“The DSS is to Nigeria what the CIA is to the United States. You cannot rubbish an institution like the secret service of a country. We could not wish away the report of the secret service.”
Melaye quoted a part of the DSS report as saying: “It will be a calamity to the fight against President Muhammadu Buhari’s war on corruption if Magu is confirmed. So if a report as clear as that is brought to us, do you expect the National Assembly to do otherwise,”he queried.
He pointed out that even when a second opportunity was accorded Magu, the DSS still upheld the first report and the position therein.
“So apart from Magu’s performance during the interview, we could not jettison the report of the DSS,” the lawmaker said, as he queried why the executive was selective on what law to obey and which not to.
Citing an example, Melaye stated that when the Senate rejected two candidates of the president based on DSS reports, the executive promptly replaced them, but when same was done to Magu, the executive refused to follow through.
His words, “Remember when we raised issue about an ambassadorial nominee, the presidency replaced him. Also, when the Director General of the National Lottery Commission resumed work without confirmation by the Senate, we took a position, which made the executive to withdraw him, while the presidency apologised. He was then presented to us. So we are not in a banana republic where the executive can decide which law to obey and which not to obey.”
The senator called on the executive not to make Magu look like the last angel in Nigeria, adding that the executive was beginning to make it look like if Magu decides he is no longer interested in the position, that the EFCC will close up.
“Magu is a policeman recruited to serve this country. His mates are either area commanders or divisional police officers, so he can still be relevant to Nigeria. He doesn’t have to be EFCC chair. Since he has been rejected by the Nigerian Senate, the onus fall on the executive to only obey,” he added.