Ozekhome Challenges Magu Face To Face, Asks Him To Prove He Is Not Bias In His Anti-corruption War
A mild drama ensued, Tuesday, at the end of year event of the Federal High Court in Abuja when human rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome Challenged Ibrahim Magu to prosecute top officials in President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.
Ozekhome challenged Magu, who is the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to prove he’s serious and unbiased about the war against corruption by docking the disgraced former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir David Lawal.
The drama arose after Magu singled out of Ozekhome, telling him that he has a responsibility to join hands in the anti-graft war of the current administration.
“Everybody here has a responsibility to fight corruption. Even my friend here, Ozekhome, has a responsibility to fight corruption.
“This is because corruption is a disaster in this country. I want to use this opportunity to call on everyone here to help us and together we will win.
“We are already winning. All we need is for you to help us in the fight against corruption,” the EFCC boss had said.
Reacting even before Magu could step down from the podium after speaking; Ozekhome told Magu to his face that his leadership of the EFCC has shown little or no seriousness in the fight against corruption.
The human rights lawyer wondered why the Magu-led EFCC is selectively fighting corruption in the country.
“Let me quickly make the point that the Federal High Court by virtue of its powers, is perhaps the most important court under section 6(6) of the 1999 constitution in terms of upholding the tenets of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as altered.
“Because of that Sirs, you must not waiver. It is a call of duty on you as representatives of God on earth. Do not be afraid of the blaring sirens of powers because at the end of the day you will be accountable to your God. Don’t be afraid of authorities, do justice.
“Some one or two people have referred to me. Let me acknowledge the presence of my good friend Mr. Ibrahim Magu. Most of you do not know, he is my personal friend. I have known him since the 90s when he was under former Chairman of EFCC, so we are very close friends”.
“I want to assure you that all of us are engaged in fighting corruption, but like I have challenged you again and again before your very face up to March this year when you invited me to the anti-corruption seminar.
“I said Mr. Magu, do us one favour, show us one person in the government, in your government that you docked, let Nigerians see that you are trying this one person!
“Then you would have achieved mileage in the fight against corruption. Just one example! Put a Minister, put the former SGF that has been indicted in the dock, just put one, then we will say you are serious and no longer selective.
“When you are selective in the fight against corruption and yet when you check your right its corruption. You treat the government with Sasorabia perfume and then fight opposition politicians and critics with insecticides, then you can’t be serious.
“When you seize a lawyer’s professional fees paid, you can’t be said to be fighting corruption.
“My lord Sirs, please be creative, do justice without fear or favour. Do what the Court of Appeal just did in the case of Justice Nganjiwa. That is a judgment that is proper, historic and should be celebrated. I support that judgment.
“A Judge should not be afraid to do his or her job. You should not be afraid, heavens will not fall. Soldiers come and go but barracks remain. Operatives of government come and go but government remains. “Let us build strong institutions and not strong men,” Ozekhome said.