THE “MAGU” SAGA AND SENATE’S REJECTION: AN APPRAISAL OF NIGERIA’S TEEMING “MUGUS”

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was created in 2003 and was therewith headed by Nuhu Ribadu. To showcase the seriousness of this office and the absolute dexterity in the business of corruption, President Umaru Musa on December 2007 removed Ribadu from this post to ostensibly attend a training course (cf wikipedia.com). It was Lamorde who took over as Acting Chairman in January 2008, holding this posotion until Farida Waziri was appointed Chairperson in May 2008. Ibrahim Magu replaced Ibrahim Lamorde the EFCC boss who was sacked on the 9th of November 2015. Ibrahim Mustafa Magu is a Kanuri from Borno State, Nigeria. He is a certified accountant, a trained financial crimes investigator with background in forensic accounting at the FBI Institute and the London Metropolitan Police Institute.    

Under the tenure of Nuhu Ribadu, he had served as head of the EFCC ‘s Economic Governornce Unit (EGU). As a member of the Investigative Committee, he, alongside Babagana Monguno (Natioanl Security Adviser) on the orders of President Buhari, probed the procurement of arms in the Armed Forces from 2007 till now. He gained public attention when he led many high profile investigations against former governors including James Ibori of Delta State and Senate President Bukola Saraki of Kwara State (more on nigerianbiography.com) as well as the Halliburton bribery scandal. It was believed that Magu was feared more than Ribadu. In 2006 a former governor had told The Cable of his experience thus:”Magu is the toughest interrogator you can ever think of when he drills suspects. He takes his time, does not rush his questions..” Even when he was posted to Delta State (during Ribadu’s tenure), Magu refused to be humiliated nor live in fear.

With all the aforementioned successes, the man Magu also had some political setbacks;

  1. In August 2008, Mr Magu’s properties were carted away by operatives of the EFCC because of the accusation of illegally keeping case files of top politicians being investigated by the commision.
  2. Despite his re-deployment to the police and his suspension later on, Mr Magu went without salaries for several months.
  3. My Magu’s name was conspicuously absent from a list Mr Lamorde (the then EFCC Chairman) had recommended followimg a letter written to the IGP on March 19th, 2012.
  4. His appointment as EFCC Chairman on November 11, 2015 was basically because of the interventions of Mr Lamorde and President Goodluck Jonathan.

 A LESSON FORMUGUS

“In light of foregoing, Magu has failed intergrity test.” Those words from paragraph 14th of the DSS report on Magu, uttered by Senator Dino Melaye of Kogi West Senatorial district would exhume a new Magu. A double standard Magu. Magu’s first rejection was on December 2016 by the upper legislative chamber based on a DSS report. The report contained his dealings with Umar Mohammed (Air commodore/Rtd), a corrupt business man who was under investigation by the EFCC. He was accused of inhabiting an apartment (which belonged to the corrupt businessman Umar) worth 20 million naira per annum. He was also accused of flying a first class against President’s orders for second class for every civil servant. Of course he was renominated by President Buhari and again for the second time, a President would intervene, after his not pleading guilty.

 Infact premiumtimes.com records Sen. Shehu Sani of Kaduna Central, talking about Magu as a victim of ‘civil war’ in Buhari’s corrupt kitchen. Yet in all these, were nine (9) questions that disqualified Magu at the Senate (Adapted from S MGOnibiyo’s wall):
1. “How will EFCC under Magu fight corruption within the law?” – DSP Ike Ekweremadu
2. DSP Ekweremadu also asked about the operations of the EFCC on disobeying court orders and cases of human rights abuse and asked Magu to respond to the last DSS report indicting him. 
3. “You need to expantiate on your activities on human rights, What are your findings and activities on the Paris Club fund?”- Sen. Shehu Sani
4. “What are the special powers of EFCC under section 6 of the EFCC act?” – SP Bukola Saraki
5. “What is the concept of Financial crime as stipulated in the EFCC act?” – Sen. Isah Misau
6. “Dasuki took money illegally and why hasn’t a single person from the CBN been investigated or prosecuted so far?” – Sen. Isah Misa
7. “Why is Central Bank Governor who released money not being investigated by EFCC?” – Sen. Isah Misau
8. How much funds have been recovered since you took charge of the commission? – Sen. Duro Faseyi.
9. What led to the death of Mr. Desmond and why was the body taken to the mortuary before contacting the family? – Sen. Ben Ajumogobia.

Today more than ever, Nigeria breeds yet still a talented majority of folks as public official who have honed and are still honing their skills. Like Ibrahim Magu, we have various kinds of Nigerians who fought certain courses while serving under a boss, institution or in their private endeavours. We have breed well schooled men like the ‘ancient’ Reuben Abati and astute interrogators like Magu, etc, as well as wonderful professors and writers. Indeed Nigeria does not lack men and women who speak out against the ills of indivduals or politicians. What Nigerians need are definitely not ‘mugus’ or political idiots who have the feeling that being a Chairman, Leader, Pastor, Imam, Dibia, Parent, is more important than acting with intergrity. After this Saga, the next question will now be,”when will we have leaders who fight the corruption and rust, building up within them?” Aren’t we all tired of seeing well breed men loosing their minds and intergity when appointed into public office?