Why The Appointment Of The Next EFCC Chairman Must Not Be Sentiment Based – By MM, Firdausi
In any democratic system, it is often said that “majority carries the vote”. From the moment President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office on 29th May, 2015, most Nigerians expected that as a new Sheriff in town, who actually abhors corruption, his first point of call would be the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Though, all hope is not lost, but it is pertinent to bring to mind certain criteria which may be uses as a yardstick to appoint a new Anti-Corruption CZAR for Nigerian. This is very important, due to the various incidence of look-warm attitude of the present leadership of the EFCC. Thus, an error to appoint any other personality who may be worst that the current leadership of the Anti-graft agency must be briskly averted. That is why the well known Presidency of Buhari, should not in any way see the various complaint and petitions by the public as mere wild goose chase. Rather, effort must be put in place to ensure that this regime gives Nigerians the hope of liberating the country from all forms of corruption, irrespective of whose ox is goared.
First and foremost, we know that President Muhammadu Buhari does not believe in anything called “god-fatherism”, just as the President himself do not have anyone as such. That is why, it is very glaring that virtually all appointments made by President Buhari since assumption of office, had been on merit and not any other sentiment in whatever form it may be called, be it “religious or ethnic sentiment”. Upon this, we beg to be corrected that in the appointment of the next EFCC Chairman, President Buhari must try his best possible, not to be tricked into doing the bidding of some “Cabals” around his government. Definitely, we all know that most of the personalities so far appointed by President Buhari into positions, may have been recommended by others. Yet, we know that the President must have in his own way tested such personalities, before trusting them with such jobs.
Therefore, on this very sensitive aspect, it must be noted that a lot of interest are desperate to have control of the most revered anti-graft agency in the country both international. These Cabals, would stop at nothing to ensure that they gain control of the EFCC, in order to ensure that President Buhari is taken for granted, as it may become too late to make amends.
However, we are privy to certain orchestrated game plan which some group of “Ethnic Bigots” are trying to pull. Just to make sure that they set a very wrong footing for President Buhari in the fight against corruption, which is basically the CHANGE Language that gave him popularity during the elections campaign. As such, the President must be smarter that all that, being a veteran both in the Military and in the Intelligence world. As an anti-corruption crusader, President Buhari must ensure that he goes over all issues that had been raised so far on the leadership of the EFCC. A lot of requisite yardstick must be used to appoint the next EFCC Chairman, most especially using the EFCC Act 2004, but not limited to “Public Opinion”.
In the past, various reasons have been proffered as to why a serving Police Officer should not be made to head the Anti-graft agency. One of such reason is not far fetched from “Loyalty to Parent Organisation”. This was why the erstwhile Chairman; Mrs. Farida Waziri, was able to rub shoulder with all the gimmick that entails in the Nigeria Police Force. Although, Mrs. Farida was loved by the EFCC Regular Staff, because she ensures that the wrongs that were obtainable in the Police, was never replicated in the EFCC. Till date, that woman is the most talked about Woman-man leader which the EFCC may NEVER get in the years to come. On this note, the need for President Buhari to appoint any other personality from within the EFCC Regular Staff or other Law Enforcement Agencies has become imperative. Today, it is well known that the EFCC has some of its staff who had served or did transfer of service from other agencies; National Intelligence Agency, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and others. And they have become permanent staff of the EFCC, while being capable to handle the leadership of the anti-graft agency. Temporarily, the Secretary of the EFCC; Mr. Emmanuel Aremo Adegboyega could as well hold brief, pending the appointment of a substantive Chairman of the Anti-graft agency. Or rather, the most Senior Regular EFCC Officer is the Commandant of the EFCC Academy; Mr. Ayo Olowonihi, who is more Intelligent, Incorruptible, Dedicated to the course of the fight against corruption. On the other hand, we still have other retired Police or LEAs, who can also do the Job of the anti-graft agency better than those who have helped to kill the EFCC over the years.
Worthy of note, is that President Buhari must as a matter of urgency repudiate any suggestion coming from those Cabals surrounding him, as regards the appointment of the new EFCC Chairman. Information at our disposal reveals that, a particular highly placed official in the present government of President Buhari, is trying to impose a particular Serving Assistant Commissioner of Police; Ibrahim Magu, on the President and the sensibility of Nigerians. The same high profile official of the government is using nothing, but ethnicity sentiment to ensure that President Buhari appoints this Police Officer as the new EFCC Chairman. Meanwhile, there are various atrocities so far carried out by this same police officer, which might have not reached the public domain. And we want to believe that President Buhari will not in any way allow himself to be cowed by these cabals.
We have before now brought the attention of President Buhari, to the various illicit activities of the present EFCC leadership. How then would the President allow himself to be rubbished by some group who feel, they have control over the Federal Government, and could decides what decision the president must take at any given time. Basically, the said ACP Ibrahim Magu, had served in the EFCC during the leadership of Mall. Nuhu Ribadu, the first Chairman of the EFCC between 2004 and 2007. At that time, it was revealed that Mr. Magu was heading the Economic Governance Section in the Lagos Office of the anti-graft agency. The section deals with high profile cases of the then Lagos state government, and other top sensitive cases of Politically Exposed Persons PEPs in Nigeria. Due to the way and manner in which Mr. Magu sabotaged a lot of cases after parting with “Hard Currencies”, he was rewarded with houses in choice areas of Lekki, Lagos State. Similarly, the same Mr. Magu, contributed to the reason why most former Governors have not been properly prosecuted by the EFCC. Most of the file contents which were very important in order to prosecute these past governors, became missing till date. That was why he felt that the former EFCC Chairman; Mrs. Farida, had victimised him for such dubious and cunning double-faced investigator.
Also, the same cabals had made effort long before President Buhari realized, by way of appointing Mr. Ibrahim Magu into the “Presidential Committee Investigating Arms Deal”. The reason for this, was to make believe in the nearest future to President Buhari, that Mr. Magu is the most disciplined and incorruptible in the EFCC, who has not been compromised. A very BIG lie! Who said? To be the best man for the job of EFCC leadership, cannot be by way of antagonising Regular EFCC Staff, and freeing Police Officers who go wrong on the job. Or could it be that being an incorruptible, is to conceal illicitly acquired wealth, and move around as a wretched officer. It must be noted that Mr. Ibrahim Magu has single handedly dismissed several Regular Staff of the EFCC, for mere errors that could warrant administrative sanctions. Meanwhile, we must have heard of highly detonated corruption ravaging within the EFCC by senior officers. Candid, it was averred that Mr. Magu heads a Department that checks internal corruption among staff. But till date, he rather assist those officers conceal their ACTS, while innocent and gullible Regular staff becomes his prey. This could be seen in the case involving one CSP. James Vandefan and Kabiru Shehu who is a regular staff. Another incident of injustice by Mr. Magu is the dismissal of three Regular Staff of the EFCC, while a police officer who used his uniform to perpetrate a fraudulent act, was let off the hook and still serves in the anti-graft agency. Precisely, what Mr. Magu is good at doing is divulging discrete official information to his masters and favouritism to the boys of his superiors in the Nigeria Police force. It was also alluded that this man, Mr. Magu goes as far as telling confidants that the same Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde who brought him back to the EFCC, after he was sent packing by the former chairman due to missing documents, is going to be dealt with when he Mr. Magu, soon takes over the leadership of the EFCC. We are not disputing the fact that the present leadership of the EFCC is enmeshed with so many controversies, yet the appointment of Mr. Ibrahim Magu by President Muhammadu Buhari will go a long way to send a bad signal on the fight against corruption.
We are very much concerned with the interest of those cabals who wants to vest their interest, even where they really do not have the integrity to advice President Buhari, who is well know for his stance against corruption. Hence, anything short of appointing the new EFCC Chairman from among other LEAs, portrays a bad omen on the idea of fighting corruption by President Muhammadu Buhari.
God bless Nigeria.