Segun Ayobolu

 

IT is a grand irony that these chargeable for the continued travails of the Performing Nationwide Chairman of the Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, have sought to justify his present investigations for alleged corrupt actions just about the necessity to reveal to the people who no public officer within the Buhari administration, regardless of how extremely positioned, is above the legislation. They might have some extent there. For the anti-corruption points- man himself to develop into a topic of vital probe by safety businesses for alleged monetary infractions, it should imply that the administration takes its battle towards graft very critically certainly.

However then, can the person reportedly behind the myriad allegations towards Magu, specifically, the Legal professional Basic of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, contend credibly that in his over two rating checklist of alleged misdeeds towards Magu, he has come to fairness with clear arms and that he has no hidden scores to settle with the previous EFCC Czar? It’s a troublesome query to reply.

The workplace of AGF is probably probably the most delicate and significant that anybody can occupy significantly in an administration like that of President Muhammadu Buhari, which proclaims from the rooftops its dedication to battle corruption and lift moral requirements within the nation’s public life. Make no mistake about it, the administration scores above common marks in its endeavors on this regard. Nonetheless, it may have recorded larger successes and scored exceptionally increased in its anti corruption score however for among the methodologies or lack of it employed in searching for to attain its anti-graft targets.

First, allow us to even discuss concerning the suitability of the administration’s strategies employed in its anti-corruption battle. There doesn’t seem like any scientific, overarching methodology that underlies its battle towards corruption. Thus, the administration finally ends up scoring personal targets towards itself and in reinforcing the notion internally and globally that the nation is one irredeemable cesspit of corruption. Very early within the lifetime of the Buhari presidency, in July, 2016, the safety businesses raided the homes of judges in Abuja, Port Harcourt, Gombe, Kano, Enugu and Sokoto at nighttime, arrested a lot of them and charged some to court docket for alleged monetary infractions. The transfer was described as a ‘sting operation’ by which a lot of the jurists had been found to have big and indefensible quantities of money of their residences.

I’m not certain that however for one or two instances who had been compelled to retire prematurely, the injury executed each to the judiciary and the nation’s picture on that event doesn’t far outweigh the positive aspects of an train that would have been dealt with with far larger tact, intelligence and strategic sense.

At concerning the time that the homes of the judicial officers had been being raided in Nigeria and your complete judiciary was being wholly denigrated and humiliated, we’re informed that Ghana was additionally preventing corruption in its judiciary with greater than two dozen corrupt judicial officers both dismissed or prosecuted. However that was executed in a sober and mature means that didn’t discredit your complete judiciary as a complete or drag the nation’s identify into pointless obloquy.

It seems to me that the dealing with of the Magu case, each when it comes to the allegations towards him and the way in which the case has been dealt with, illustrates the dysfunctional turf wars which have characterised the Buhari presidency and given the impression of an administration that’s perennially at battle with lots of its highest positioned officers undermining one another and interesting in pointless internecine battles. There isn’t a doubt that considered one of Malami’s grouses towards the previous (?) EFCC Performing Chairman is the latter’s perceived refusal to completely subordinate his company to the AGF’s management. Right here I believe the fault lies completely with the presidency. If Malami was proper, Magu ought to merely have been informed to strictly report back to and perform the directions of the Legal professional Basic in discharging his duties.

Thus, the AGF accuses Magu of insubordination to the workplace of the Minister and never searching for his approval on some choices in addition to reporting some judges to their bosses irrespective of the AGF. In fact, there are additionally very critical allegations towards Magu resembling alleged discrepancies within the reconciliation of information of the EFCC and the Federal Ministry of Finance on recovered funds, declaration of N539 billion as recovered funds as an alternative of the N504 billion earlier claimed, not respecting a court docket order to unfreeze N7 billion judgment in favour of a former Govt Director of a Financial institution, alleged sale of seized belongings to cronies, associates and associates and never offering sufficient proof for the extradition of former petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Allison-Madueke.

A few of these allegations are in my opinion the fault or lapses of the safety and intelligence neighborhood as a complete reasonably than that of just one company just like the EFCC. An instance is the alleged late authorized motion on Course of &Industrial Growth (P&ID), an organization that sued Nigeria for $6.6 billion in 2017 for alleged breach of contract. The safety businesses ought to have acted in live performance with the workplace of the AGF in nipping this downside within the bud earlier than it grew to become such a giant public relations mess for the nation.

Once more, can Malami credibly query Magu’s purported non-respect for court docket orders when he himself has not set a stellar instance in that regard? However then, if Magu had agency directives from the AGF to hold out any court docket directive, he definitely has no excuse ignoring or disobeying such an order.

Once more, in the way in which he has operated as AGF, Malami himself, regardless of how nicely which means he could also be, has courted an excessive amount of controversy that will elevate doubts about his intentions. As an illustration, in his dealing with of the continued case of the alleged crime kingpin from Taraba State, Bala Hamisu, also referred to as Wadume, Malami has raised doubts within the minds of many Nigerians. In withdrawing the case file from the police and bringing the case instantly underneath the purview of his ministry, the AGF inexplicably dropped from the cost sheet, the names of ten troopers alleged to be accomplices to the crime and who killed three senior cops whereas additionally illegally rescuing Wadume from the custody of the slain policemen.

Reacting to the general public outcry that greeted this choice, Malami’s argument was that the army officers chargeable for the homicide first needed to endure inside army processes of the army by court docket martial earlier than they might be charged earlier than civil courts. The query is how lengthy will this course of take for against the law that was dedicated final 12 months and for which the related army authorities have been so clearly reluctant to launch their males to face the legislation? The sooner the AGF makes certain the army officers are introduced earlier than the courts to show their innocence, the extra public confidence will probably be restored in his workplace.

We will additionally recall the case involving the pension reforms chief, Abdul-Rasheed Maina, who was a fugitive from the legislation for alleged embezzlement of pensions’ funds operating into billions of Naira.  Maina was illegally absorbed again into workplace allegedly on the authorized recommendation of Malami. It took a presidential directive by PMB for that call to be rescinded and for Maina to be introduced earlier than the legislation as is presently occurring. Malami’s saving grace right here is that he has a minimum of not interfered with the continued strategy of Maina’s trial as he has the powers to do.

It’s instructive that nearly all Magu’s predecessors on the EFCC have had comparable allegations of corruption hurled at them, which they vehemently denied and nonetheless do.  If these on the vanguard of the nation’s anti-corruption battle will be so simply and cavalierly tainted by expenses of graft, then the nation nonetheless has a protracted technique to go in the direction of reaching increased moral requirements in her public life. If Magu has his fame credibly broken by the continued investigation, we will solely pray that the Buhari administration’s anti-corruption battle might not have come to a pitiable useless finish.

For no matter could also be his faults, Magu has demonstrated immense braveness within the discharge of his duties even when he’s no saint. The heartwarming truth in all that is that the investigative, administrative panel is headed by a jurist of the caliber of Justice Ayo Salami, a retired President of the Court docket of Enchantment with fame for braveness and integrity. If Magu is really harmless of the costs, he’s prone to obtain justice earlier than the panel.

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