By Adenike Lucas
The anti-corruption fight has been compromised. We would not hesitate in laying the blame at the door of Ibrahim Mustafa Magu, the chaff whose nomination as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, was rejected by lawmakers following a damming report by the secret police.
According to the Department of State Service, DSS, Mr Magu is a dead log. In their own words, he constitutes as a liability to the fight against corruption.
Mr Magu arguably has a poor sense of judgment. His willingness to compromise official documents for personal interest was stated for all to note.
The report further states that Mr Magu has integrity issues and as such “will eventually constitute a liability to the anti-corruption drive of the present administration.”
Of course, these are not qualities that should be found in the holder of such office as EFCC chairman.
Despite the warnings from the secret police, Mr Magu remains in office. While he has been in the exalted position, he continued to denigrate the agency further.
For example, how can a self-acclaimed anti-corruption tsar come out in the open to say his enemies have bought houses abroad in his name?
Or, how can the same man continue on a media jamboree that’s yielded no results. Till date, no Politically Exposed Person (PEP) has been successfully prosecuted under Mr Magu. Are they the enemies Mr Magu is talking about! They bought the house in exchange for what?
Let’s not fool ourselves anymore. Mr Magu is an impediment to this government. For more than a year, the corrupt Borno born Deputy Commissioner of Police has been on a jolly ride, along the way he has performed several wacky and sensational film trick.
His high profile tour of duty visits with the media includes that one to his own agency’s detention camp and the whopping N49 million found at the Kaduna airport.
Mr Magu’s EFCC also found N250 million cash in a market in Lagos.
Whatever has happened to all those cash and others we have not mentioned?
The truth is this ghost recoveries probably don’t exist or have been re-looted, which is what the Senate President said. Bukola Saraki claims that anti-graft agencies like the EFCC have shared among themselves what they recovered.
By contrast, the Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN recently recovered $321 million which was illicitly acquired by the late military dictator, General Sani Abacha.
A British judge has also agreed for another $85 million to be returned to Nigeria.
Unfortunately, media allies of Mr Magu would rather portray this achievement as a small one.
One of such media outfit claims that Mr Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who insists that the recovered money be spent on social intervention programmes like the National Cash Transfer Office, NCTO, paid Nigerian lawyers to do his own work.
Did they read Article 10 of the Memorandum of Understanding that Mr Malami, SAN, signed, which states that “should the World Bank determine that any amounts of the Funds were used to finance ineligible expenditures and notify the Government to that effect, the Federal Government of Nigeria shall ensure that such amounts are promptly returned.”
The Swiss government and identified Network on Asset Recovery (NAR) are monitoring the Abacha funds to prevent it from being misspent as previous governments have done with repatriated funds.
The man, who led a team that advised the President into signing the Open Government Partnership, and is seeking transparency, should not be beaten for doing the right thing.
Adenike Lucas is the Editor and Publisher of DENISAURUS News.