MAGU; INSUBORDINATION OR CORRUPTION
I know. It has been weeks and the euphoria that came with the allegations of corruption levelled against the number one person in charge of corruption has dwindled. A lot of things have fought to be the headline on our television screens and the streets of twitter. Joy Nunieh was saved by HE, Governor Wike of Rivers state (heaven knows what might have happened to her if she wasn’t rescued on time from the “police”) the founder of Gokada (the motorcycle that went to Harvard and gave our local Okada riders a run for their money) was brutally murdered by his P.A., NDDC probe and the Acting MD’s fainting saga and, yes, the most “important” distraction, BBN. For some Nigerians, their curiosity lies not in the allegations levelled against him, no, far from it this would neither be the first “exposure” nor the last. Nigerians are curious to know the toes Ibrahim Magu stepped on for his “frenemies” to shamelessly dangle him in front of the world to see. How did hunter Ibrahim Magu become hunted?
Is it safe to agree with Mr Dennis Amachree, the former deputy director of the Department of State Security, DSS, and call the arrest of Mr Ibrahim Magu, the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, a power play? Over the years, there has been a series of recommendations by the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, Mr Abubakar Malami, to president Buhari to sack Magu on the grounds of insubordination, diversion of rediscovered loot and misconduct. One might ask why insubordination is on the list of offences that might make Magu lose his job, well; the office of the AGF is EFCC’s supervising minister. It seems that Magu might have always had a thing for insubordination, in 2010; he was reprimanded and warned by the police service commission for withholding certain EFCC files. Let’s not forget that Magu has over time been seen to disregard the constitution when it comes to detaining alleged corrupt individuals for more than 48 hours, most times, such cases when charged to court would then be lost because of insufficient evidence or lack of thorough investigation. His refusal to hand over corrupt cases (over the sum of fifty million Naira) for the prosecution to the ministry of justice might have contributed to the allegations of insubordination levelled against him.
There might be reason(s) for the alleged insubordination to the office the AGF, during the probe at the banquet hall in the presidential villa; Mr Magu laid some allegations against Mr Malami Abubakar. He accused him of allowing the country to lose the sum of 283 million Naira in recovered assets on the ground of corruption of course. He also claimed that the AGF did not only refuse to respond to the letter of recommendation in 2016 by the EFCC “on the disposal of forfeited assets” but the AGF commenced a fresh process of disposing of the assets already forfeited by the commission. Magu also accused the Malami of also frustrating efforts in the disposal of forfeited assets. Who knows, instances like these might not have fostered a smooth relationship between Magu and Malami. The stance of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, is that Malami has neither shown any apparent interest nor has been in genuinely in support of the fight against corruption.
One of the allegations levelled against Magu is that the interest on the recovered 550billion Naira was re-looted by Magu, but in a statement released by Magu’s counsel, Wahab Shittu, he claimed that such allegation does not stand true because recovered amounts are lodged in a Treasury Single Account, TSA, and it does not generate interest. The income and revenue of the federal government are to be paid into the TSA of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN. Besides, a directive was made by the current administration that all funds should be moved from commercial banks to CBN. On the account of the alleged sale of seized assets to associates, Mr Aliyu Lemu argued on Channels politics today that in the past, properties seized were usually left to waste. In order to prevent the wastage or deterioration of recovered properties by the EFCC, such properties are givens to government agencies or parastatals to occupy at subsidized rates or freely, which would help to reduce government’s expenditure. Mr Lemu claims that the alleged under-declaration of funds ought to have been verified by the AGF without any iota of doubt via the office of the finance minister and not on the pages of print media.
While we wait for the outcome of the presidential probe to determine if the allegations levelled against Mr Magu by Mr Malami are true, we cannot help but wonder if this was done at the best interest of Nigeria or if it was because Magu did not dance to the tune of Malami and those in the corridor of power, because in a statement released by CACOL Executive Chairman Debo Adeniran and Coordinator (Administration and Programmes) Tola Oresanwo, the group noted: “It is common knowledge that there has been no love lost between the two”