By Adenike Lucas and Danjuma Aliyu, DENISAURUS News
The Nigerian senate has successfully defended its right to reject the nomination of Ibrahim Mustafa Magu, as the fourth substantive chairman of the Economics and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC at the Court.
The Senate had refused to confirm Mr Magu last year March, after receiving an intelligence report from the secret police with details of corruption charges against the 53-year-old.
DENISAURUS News, the first to report allegations of corruption from EFCC workers against Mr Magu, exclusively published extracts from the report written by the Director of the secret police as far back as August, 2016.
On August 2, 2016, a report by Adenike Lucas, editor of this news site, which discussed allegations of victimisation of staff and the corruption perpetrated by Mr Magu was published by Abubakar Sidiq Usman.
This led to the arrest of Mr Usman, a Kogi born publisher, popularly known as Abusidiq.
Instead of relent the editor and reporters of this website, which promised to stand with staff at the Commission, went on to publish and raise awareness of further internal corruption at the anti-graft agency.
One of such, is the suspension of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, which was reported in May 2017.
Mr Magu’s deliberate leak of confidential information was seen as the reason for the suspension from the group, which consist of 155 Financial Intelligence Units, FIUs.
At the time, rather than admit to and address the problem, Mr Magu claimed the author of the news story was working for supposed paymasters, a claim which turned out to be false.
Till date, Nigeria remains “excluded from all Egmont Group events and activities.” Despite all the atrocities carried out by Mr Magu, who the DSS describes as a “perpetual offender,” he remains in office “illegally,” thanks to the support from Babagana Monguno, the National Security Adviser and the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
So much was Professor Osinbajo’s support for Mr Magu, that he stated that he did not need the confirmation of the Senate.
However, Section 2(3) of the EFCC Act 2004 requires getting the confirmation of the Senate for the appointee to the office of the chairman of the EFCC.
The stay put decision by the Executive had peeved lawmakers, who argued that the principle of separation of powers is under threat.
Jubilation Over Judgment
Senator Abdullahi Aliyu Sabi, the Senate Spokesman revealed that a judgement has been ruled in favour of the Senate in its decision not to confirm Mr Magu’s appointment on March 15, 2017 and December 16, 2016.
According to the statement by Senator Sabi, the Court Judgment was delivered by Justice John Tsoho Osgood on January 15, 2018 in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/59/2017.
The suit was filled by Oluwatosin Ojaomo, and it had the Senate President, National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice, AGF as respondents.
In his ruling, Justice Osgood states that “there is no doubt that the 1st defendant is bound by the provisions of the EFCC Act with respect to the appointment of the chairman of the EFCC by the President.
“It should be realised that the provision of Section 2 (3) of the EFCC Act empowers the Senate, headed by the 1st Defndant, to confirm the chairman of EFCC by the President.”
The judgement further adds that there is no doubt that the National Assembly is “thus confirmed with authority to ensure the choice of only suitable and credible persons for the appointment to that office.
“The submission of the plaintiff however gives the impression that the senate only exists to rubber stamp the President’s appointment of a chairman. Such view runs counter to the proper intendment of section 2 (3) of the EFCC act 2004 and is misconceived.”
The Federal Government could appeal the decision through the office of the AGF, Abubakar Malami, SAN.
However, if it does, the AGF will be going against his own report which indicted Mr Magu.
It will also be a move against EFCC staff, who have written several petitions to Nigeria’s chief law officer about Mr Magu’s corrupt ways.
Staff, have been consistent in their allegations against their boss. They were first vindicated when an Intel report from the secret police corroborated many of their allegations.
But, Mr Magu, a level 14 – Deputy Commissioner of Police, described as a liability to the corruption fight has made life difficult for his subordinates, as he feels they jeopardised his opportunity to be confirmed by the senate.
He has refused to promote any of them, and some he has put on suspension for more than two year, contrary to laid down Public Service Rule.
Justice Osgood’s ruling has been well received by EFCC workers. Information reaching this website is that Mr Magu tried to blackmail the judge who gave this ruling against him.
An informed source, confided in this paper that staff are popping champagne. The source said his colleagues hope that the President would realise it was a big mistake to have kept Mr Magu till now.
Another staff added that “the next thing we expect is for Mr Magu to be picked up by the DSS.”
DENISAURUS News reliably gathered that Mr Magu is now in a popular luxury hotel in Lagos, plotting with some of his top allies, who are senior politicians on how to escape from the country following the decision of the Federal High Court.
An insider revealed that their plan is to hoodwink President Buhari to grant him permission to travel out of the country for a medical check up, so as to evade any unforeseen circumstance.
If Mr President grants this request from Mr Magu, he would be speaking against his policy on foreign medical practice by Public Servants.