The beginning statements of this article published in a national daily on Saturday, March 10, give off the impression that the writer may be singing the tune of a paid piper.
Hear him in his first paragraph, The attention of notable Nigerians has been drawn to a statement credited to the Nigerian Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, describing Mr. Ibrahim Mustapha Magu as the most senior staff of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which is false.”
The first question would be who are these supposed notable Nigerians” who were referring to? Secondly, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s statement that Magu is the most senior staff of the EFCC is factual and truth.
Again the writer makes spurious claims that the lies in the position of the vice president should be exposed in the interest of the citizenry, ”which is not a false statement; it exposes the writer’s ulterior motives; to mislead with wild claims.
I am sure the writer is familiar with the statement that “comment is free, but facts are sacred. While the writer reserves the right to comment on issues, with his article, he exposed his myopia and blatant disregard for facts.
The writer and his group should instead be asking themselves and their cohorts why the Nigerian Senate had declined to confirm Ibrahim Magu as the substantive Chairman of the EFCC, despite the weight of Magu’s credibility and qualification to occupy the said position.
Again, it is evident that the writer of this piece does not clearly understand the EFCC act. He quotes and interprets sections of it incorrectly.
Contrary to what the Vice President said, Mr. Magu Mustapha Ibrahim happens to be the most senior police officer posted to serve in the EFCC on secondment, but that does not make him a staff of the commission.”
The only fact, which the writer preferred to play the ostrich to, is that Magu fits into the profile in the Office of the Chairman of the EFCC, and, in all ramifications, is still the most senior, in terms of what the EFCC Act stipulates, and this Act has not been changed.
Indeed, Magu, as the VP pointed out, is the most senior person for the EFCC chairmanship position.
According to the writer, the EFCC has at least 20 serving deputy directors, a rank that is equivalent to that of a Commissioner of Police (CP) in the Nigerian Police Force, and an additional 20 Assistant Directors who are equivalent to the rank of a Deputy Commissioner of Police in the Nigerian Police Force.”
However, a section of the EFCC Establishment Act that relates to the office of the chairman states that, the EFCC chairman “shall be a serving or retired member of any government security or law enforcement agency not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police or equivalent and possess not less than 15 years of cognate experience.”
As it stands, Ibrahim Magu, the Acting Chairman of the EFCC, aptly fits into this position.
In 2012, Magu was promoted Assistant Commissioner of Police and posted briefly to Anambra State Command where he served as Assistant Commissioner of Police (Operations).
Now a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Magu, by his status, is the most senior staff of the commission. The EFCC chairmanship is by appointment of the President and this appointment confers seniority.
The provision of section 2 (3) of the EFFC Act also gives power to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, to appoint the Chairman and other members of the EFCC. That this is subject to confirmation by the Senate (which they are yet to approve for reasons best known to them) is the reason why Magu is still serving as EFCC Acting Chairman.”
For the records, Magu joined the Nigeria Police Force as an Assistant Superintendent of Police in 1990 and served in various capacities. The Acting EFCC Chairman was seconded to the then newly established commission in May 2003 where he was appointed its pioneer Head of Administration and Finance.
Again the writer exposes the underlying motive of his faulty piece, with his views that, “the National Assembly should amend the Act that established the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to enable it function effectively whereby the position of the chief executive of the commission would be ceded to “one of the most ranked officers in the commission.”
The selfish motives are obvious here; the writer still feels pained that one of his ‘candidates’ which he claims are high ranking (but obviously not in the same bracket as Magu) were not considered to the Commission’s highest office.
If Nigeria is to move forward and fulfil its obvious greatness, such myopic sentiments that Bamidele championed with his biased article should be discarded like a piece of rag. Sensitive public office positions should be occupied by the most qualified and credible persons like Magu, not simply because some persons have vested interests in particular position or have candidates who are not necessarily qualified for the position. This is the cause of corruption that pervades many sectors in the country today.
Simply put, the writer alluding that Osinbajo erred on Magu’s portfolio does not hold water.
Magu has undoubtedly paid his dues and his records speak well of him, not only because he is the most senior staff. He is also well qualified for the job as EFCC chairman.
Bayo-Johnson, a public affairs commentator, writes from Abuja
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