Corrupt politicians responsible for Magu’s ordeal
By Samuel Ogunsona
Forces bent on putting a stop to the anti-corruption campaign are behind the ordeal of former Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) Mr Ibrahim Magu, a coalition of several civil society group said on Wednesday
The group said in a statement made available to Irohinoodua that the arrows being fired against Magu were the latest orchestrated designs to return Nigeria to the status quo and ensure corruption and impunity return to reclaim their inglorious seat at the apex of Nigerian political economy.
The Civil Society Network Against Corruption, (CSNAC) in a statement signed hy its official Mr Sina Odugbemi accused the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami of building a network of people opposed to accountability and transparency in governance.
“It stirs the conscience of Nigerians that an investigative panel interogated Mr Magu and same day found him guilty, the same day he was detained and the same day he was removed as the EFCC Acting Chairman. The entire drama is nothing but a prepaid plan to defeat the anti-corruption campaign, “Odugbemi said in the statement.
The CSNAC is a coalition of 135 local, national and regional anti-corruption groups spread across Nigeria and West Africa Sub region.
The anti corruption coalition said it was not opposed to investigation of Magu for possible cases of corruption but that the way and manner the forces behind the plot pursued their desire was a clear indication that Magi was a victim of political power game between reactionary and progressive forces.
It is suspicious that Magu was removed from office the same day he was arrested, the same day he was prosecuted and the same day he was foubd guilty adding that “it was nothing but a mockery of the rule of law.”
The group said while it took more than four years to compile the allegations leveled against Magu, he was given only few hours to respond verbally to the allegations and his response was almost at gun point.
“Mr Magu was draged to the panel without adequate notice. He was not given the time and opportunity to prepare his defence. He was not given any chance to call witnesses. He hurriedly called his lawyer who was also not adequately briefed before Magu was brought to the panel in a state of confusion and anxiety” the group stated.
CSNAC said Magu has been the subject of covert attacks by corrupt politicians spread across Nigeria’s two main political parties and their colloborators in the business community.
‘The removal of Magu may be the end of any genuine efforts to fight corruption in Nigeria”, CSNAC said.
The allegations against him included alleged discrepancies in the reconciliation records of the EFCC and the Federal Ministry of Finance on recovered funds, declaration of N539b as recovered funds instead of N504b earlier claimed. He was also accused of
insubordination to the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, (AGF).
Magu was accused of not providing enough evidences for the extradition of Diezani Alison-Madueke and alleged late action on the investigation of P&ID leading to legal dispute
Magu’s escort mobile policemen and security detail were stood down before he was taken into custody.
By not allowing him to go back to his office was an indication that he might be suspended.
“It is obvious that the Presidency has concluded plans to look for a new candidate for the office,”
The coalition said with the exit of Magu, Nigerians should expect a more corrupt and inept system of governance and an anti-corruption agency that may dance into the whims and caprices of the ruling elite.