IT is a grand irony that these answerable for the continuing travails of the Appearing Nationwide Chairman of the Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, have sought to justify his present investigations for alleged corrupt actions on the subject of the necessity to exhibit to the people who no public officer within the Buhari administration, regardless of how extremely positioned, is above the legislation. They could have some extent there. For the anti-corruption points- man himself to turn out to be a topic of vital probe by safety companies for alleged monetary infractions, it should imply that the administration takes its warfare towards graft very critically certainly.
However then, can the person reportedly behind the myriad allegations towards Magu, particularly, the Legal professional Basic of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, contend credibly that in his over two rating checklist of alleged misdeeds towards Magu, he has come to fairness with clear palms and that he has no hidden scores to settle with the previous EFCC Czar? It’s a tough query to reply.
The workplace of AGF is maybe probably the most delicate and demanding that anybody can occupy notably in an administration like that of President Muhammadu Buhari, which proclaims from the rooftops its dedication to battle corruption and lift moral requirements within the nation’s public life. Make no mistake about it, the administration scores above common marks in its endeavors on this regard. Nevertheless, it may have recorded larger successes and scored exceptionally increased in its anti corruption score however for among the methodologies or lack of it employed in searching for to attain its anti-graft goals.
First, allow us to even speak in regards to the suitability of the administration’s strategies employed in its anti-corruption warfare. There doesn’t seem like any scientific, overarching methodology that underlies its warfare towards corruption. Thus, the administration finally ends up scoring personal targets towards itself and in reinforcing the notion internally and globally that the nation is one irredeemable cesspit of corruption. Very early within the lifetime of the Buhari presidency, in July, 2016, the safety companies raided the homes of judges in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Gombe, Kano, Enugu and Sokoto in the dark, arrested a variety of them and charged some to courtroom for alleged monetary infractions. The transfer was described as a ‘sting operation’ by which a variety of the jurists have been found to have enormous and indefensible quantities of money of their residences.
I’m not certain that however for one or two circumstances who have been compelled to retire prematurely, the harm achieved each to the judiciary and the nation’s picture on that event doesn’t far outweigh the good points of an train that would have been dealt with with far larger tact, intelligence and strategic sense.
At in regards to the time that the homes of the judicial officers have been being raided in Nigeria and your complete judiciary was being wholly denigrated and humiliated, we’re informed that Ghana was additionally preventing corruption in its judiciary with greater than two dozen corrupt judicial officers both dismissed or prosecuted. However that was achieved in a sober and mature manner that didn’t discredit your complete judiciary as an entire or drag the nation’s identify into unnecessary obloquy.
It seems to me that the dealing with of the Magu case, each by way of the allegations towards him and the way in which the case has been dealt with, illustrates the dysfunctional turf wars which have characterised the Buhari presidency and given the impression of an administration that’s perennially at warfare with a lot of its highest positioned officers undermining one another and interesting in unnecessary internecine battles. There is no such thing as a doubt that one in all Malami’s grouses towards the previous (?) EFCC Appearing Chairman is the latter’s perceived refusal to completely subordinate his company to the AGF’s management. Right here I believe the fault lies completely with the presidency. If Malami was proper, Magu ought to merely have been informed to strictly report back to and perform the directions of the Legal professional Basic in discharging his duties.
Thus, the AGF accuses Magu of insubordination to the workplace of the Minister and never searching for his approval on some choices in addition to reporting some judges to their bosses irrespective of the AGF. In fact, there are additionally very critical allegations towards Magu corresponding to alleged discrepancies within the reconciliation of information of the EFCC and the Federal Ministry of Finance on recovered funds, declaration of N539 billion as recovered funds as a substitute of the N504 billion earlier claimed, not respecting a courtroom order to unfreeze N7 billion judgment in favour of a former Government Director of a Financial institution, alleged sale of seized belongings to cronies, associates and associates and never offering sufficient proof for the extradition of former petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke.
A few of these allegations are for my part the fault or lapses of the safety and intelligence neighborhood as an entire somewhat than that of just one company just like the EFCC. An instance is the alleged late authorized motion on Course of &Industrial Growth (P&ID), an organization that sued Nigeria for $6.6 billion in 2017 for alleged breach of contract. The safety companies ought to have acted in live performance with the workplace of the AGF in nipping this downside within the bud earlier than it grew to become such an enormous public relations mess for the nation.
Once more, can Malami credibly query Magu’s purported non-respect for courtroom orders when he himself has not set a stellar instance in that regard? However then, if Magu had agency directives from the AGF to hold out any courtroom directive, he definitely has no excuse ignoring or disobeying such an order.
Once more, in the way in which he has operated as AGF, Malami himself, regardless of how properly which means he could also be, has courted an excessive amount of controversy which will elevate doubts about his intentions. As an example, in his dealing with of the continuing case of the alleged crime kingpin from Taraba State, Bala Hamisu, often known as Wadume, Malami has raised doubts within the minds of many Nigerians. In withdrawing the case file from the police and bringing the case straight below the purview of his ministry, the AGF inexplicably dropped from the cost sheet, the names of ten troopers alleged to be accomplices to the crime and who killed three senior cops whereas additionally illegally rescuing Wadume from the custody of the slain policemen.
Reacting to the general public outcry that greeted this choice, Malami’s argument was that the army officers answerable for the homicide first needed to endure inner army processes of the army by way of courtroom martial earlier than they could possibly be charged earlier than civil courts. The query is how lengthy will this course of take for a criminal offense that was dedicated final 12 months and for which the related army authorities have been so clearly reluctant to launch their males to face the legislation? The sooner the AGF makes certain the army officers are introduced earlier than the courts to show their innocence, the extra public confidence might be restored in his workplace.
We are able to additionally recall the case involving the pension reforms chief, Abdul-Rasheed Maina, who was a fugitive from the legislation for alleged embezzlement of pensions’ funds operating into billions of Naira. Maina was illegally absorbed again into workplace allegedly on the authorized recommendation of Malami. It took a presidential directive by PMB for that call to be rescinded and for Maina to be introduced earlier than the legislation as is at the moment taking place. Malami’s saving grace right here is that he has at the least not interfered with the continuing means of Maina’s trial as he has the powers to do.
It’s instructive that just about all Magu’s predecessors on the EFCC have had related allegations of corruption hurled at them, which they vehemently denied and nonetheless do. If these on the vanguard of the nation’s anti-corruption warfare could be so simply and cavalierly tainted by prices of graft, then the nation nonetheless has an extended method to go in the direction of attaining increased moral requirements in her public life. If Magu has his fame credibly broken by the continuing investigation, we are able to solely pray that the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption warfare could not have come to a pitiable lifeless finish.
For no matter could also be his faults, Magu has demonstrated immense braveness within the discharge of his duties even when he’s no saint. The heartwarming reality in all that is that the investigative, administrative panel is headed by a jurist of the caliber of Justice Ayo Salami, a retired President of the Courtroom of Attraction with fame for braveness and integrity. If Magu is really harmless of the fees, he’s more likely to obtain justice earlier than the panel.