👤 By Adenike Lucas
During the 2015 election campaign, President Muhammadu Buhari vowed to “kill corruption.”
But more than three years into his tenure, there has been reports of “widespread corruption” affecting all levels of government and yet to date, no Politically Exposed Person has been convicted.
The premise here is that the 75-year-old former General has failed to deliver on the promise to rid the country of graft.
So, shortly, after assuming office, President Buhari sacked Ibrahim Lamorde, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, who had many written petition accusing him of corruption.
EFCC staff told DENISAURUS News then they thought President Buhari was serious about fighting graft.
We all thought he was serious, until when the Senate rejected Ibrahim Mustafa Magu’s nomination due to an indicting report by the Department of State Security Services, DSS.
A request was made for the Executive to send a more competent and honest name as replacement for Mr Magu. But, it never did.
As predicted by the DSS, Mr Magu, the acting chairman of the anti-graft commission, described as a perennial offender as become a liability to the fight against corruption.
The first problem is that Mr Magu, was well entrenched in the administration of Mr Lamorde, his former boss and friend.
Insiders have dubbed another pioneer chairman, Nuhu Ribadu as the third musketeer. According to staff, Mallam Ribadu, Mr Lamorde and Mr Magu, all ran a corruption ring.
So, when the DSS wrote an indicting report against Mr Magu, EFCC staff members were not totally surprised.
They had given report about Mr Magu which has been exclusively reported on this website. The allegations have mostly been confirmed by the DSS and other relevant agencies involved.
It can’t be over emphasised what the DSS wrote about Mr Magu. They said “MAGU is a perennial offender,” who “cannot change.”
Even, after his rejection by lawmakers and many atrocities exclusively report by DENISAURUS News about Mr Magu, it continues to surprise many to find that the corrupt officer is still being retained in the delicate post.
This paper understands the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo is the thin thread that has kept Mr Magu in office.
To many the decision to illegally keep Mr Magu in the EFCC, was a sign that the current administration was not really serious in the corruption fight. All the bravado, talks about killing corruption, sounded good. However, it was all rhetoric!
Accordingly, a new US report has revealed that rather than the promise to “kill corruption,” there is actually “massive, widespread, and pervasive corruption” within President Buhari’s administration.
This echoes the figure released by Transparency International, TI which showed early this year, that under President Buhari, corruption had worsened.
Bill Gate, the world richest man, has also lambasted the Nigerian government.
In his criticism, Mr Gate, the founder of Microsoft who has invested 1.6 billion in the country, explained that the Nigerian economic blueprint, which was an initiative of the Vice President, Professor Osinbajo, “don’t fully reflect people’s needs.”
The most damning report against the current administration, comes from the US government, days before President Buhari is to hold talks with his US counterpart.
The report, titled – Country Report on Human Rights, states that “although the law provides criminal penalties for conviction of official corruption, the government did not implement the law effectively, and officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.
“Massive, widespread, and pervasive corruption affected all levels of government and the security services. The constitution provides immunity from civil and criminal prosecution for the president, vice president, governors, and deputy governors while in office. There were numerous reports of government corruption during the year.”
The report further states that the EFCC under the command of Mr Magu, did not follow “due process” and might be complicity engaged in a motivated attack against the opposition.
“EFCC arrests and indictments of politicians continued throughout the year, implicating a significant number of opposition political figures and leading to allegations of partisan motivations on the part of the EFCC.
“In a case brought by the EFCC, in November a federal court convicted four firms allegedly used by a former aide of former president Goodluck Jonathan of laundering 1.67 billion naira ($5.3 million) in stolen funds.
“In its pursuit of corruption, the EFCC often did not observe all pertinent due process safeguards. In November the Economic Community of West African States Court of Justice declared unlawful the arrest and detention in 2015 of former national security advisor Sambo Dasuki.
“A court ordered him released on bail in a case brought by the EFCC for the alleged diversion of 13.6 billion naira ($43.2 million) intended to purchase military materiel during the Jonathan administration. Despite the court order, he remained in detention.”
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Adenike Lucas is the editor and publisher of DENISAURUS News