Senate, Confirm Magu Now

| Leave a comment

The Senate will today commence the confirmation hearing of acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu. Senate President Bukola Saraki gave this indication at the resumption of legislative duties yesterday. He  informed his colleagues that Magu’s confirmation hearing will take place during today’s plenary.
The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Corruption and Financial Crimes, Senator Chukwuka Utazi, was also said to have written a letter to Magu to that effect, inviting him to appear before the Senate. The acting EFCC chairman confirmed the receipt of the invitation letter.
We recall that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had set up the EFCC alongside the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and other anti-graft agencies to tackle the menace of corruption.
Mr Nuhu Ribadu became the pioneer chairman of that agency, while Mr Ibrahim Lamorde was the Director of Operations, with Magu as the Head of Investigative Unit. Magu became the acting chairman of the agency when President Muhammadu Buhari came into office.
Worried, Nigerians are beginning to demand explanations regarding Magu’s seemingly interminable acting capacity as the boss of EFCC. He has remained in that role for more than one year into his four-year tenure, a development which has continued to baffle Nigerians who, from outside, are sufficiently satisfied with the performance of the man many see as a complement to Buhari’s no-nonsense mien on issues of integrity. Under him, corruption is receiving a fight that has weakened its resolve to cause harm to the polity. In spite of the fact that he was appointed in November 2015, his nomination letter was not read on the floor of the Senate until June 2016. No serious action took place until late December last year. But the confirmation process was stalled when the Senate claimed that it could not proceed with it on grounds of negative report from the Department of State security Services (DSS).
It is on record that the Senate was actually in receipt of two letters from the same DSS- one asking them to confirm Magu and the other asking the senators to reject his candidacy.
We are of the opinion that the senators must rise above primordial sentiments this time round and do the needful, which is to confirm Magu and strengthen his arm as he carries on with the war on graft.
In expressing this opinion, we call to mind his achievements so far. On Magu’s watch, the EFCC has recovered more stolen money than any EFCC chairman since the commission was established. For example, Magu’s EFCC has recovered N102.91 billion, $8.30million GBP 29,155, 12,475 pounds, 117,004 Canadian dollars as proceeds of crime between January and December, 2016. Other monies recovered during the period were 806.50 Dirham, 5,000 Francs and 2,000 Rupees.
The above amount is apart from the humongous $9.8million just recovered from the family house allegedly belonging to the former Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, in Kaduna, while a court has ordered its forfeiture to the government. Add to these the N1.25 billion recovered from a public servant recently.
Justice Muslim Hassan of the Federal High Court in Lagos recently ordered the final forfeiture to the federal government various sums of money – N23, 446, 300,000, N9, 080,000,000 and $5million (totalling over N34billion) – linked to a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, following an application by the commission. It is instructive to state that the EFCC under Magu may well become the greatest source of revenue for the country after crude oil.
Furthermore, the EFCC, within this period, has secured 185 convictions, out of which 46 were from Lagos zone, 30 from Abuja zone, 22 from Port Harcourt zone, 19 from Kano zone, 15 from Enugu zone and three from Gombe zone.
Now that Buhari has re-nominated Magu and stated, clearly, in his letter to the Senate that Magu had satisfactorily responded to the issues raised by the DSS in its report, the matter ought to be closed. The controversy over the report deserves to be considered dead.
We urge the senators to come out today and approach the matter with all seriousness. It is our belief that common sense will prevail as they contribute to efforts aimed at reducing corruption to its barest minimum

comments powered by Disqus

Daily Columns