Abuja- President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to rejig his anti-corruption team by dismissing the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mr. Ibrahim Magu; the Federal Attorney General Alhaji Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the Director General of department of state services Alhaji Lawal Daura.
Making this plea, the non-governmental organization- Human Rights writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) in a statement signed jointly by the National coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf said that rejigging will help to achieve greater efficiency in the anti-corruption fight.
The group said the three officials are serious obstacles to the successful fight against corruption and must be thrown out if Nigeria ever hopes to successfully confront the hydraheaded monster of corruption weighing down the progress of the fatherland.
The Rights group had in the media release issued against the backdrop of a claim by the Acting Chairman of the EFCC Mr. Ibrahim Magu that cabal bought houses abroad in his name, expressed consternation that the President has still not taken verifiable steps to clean the augean stable so as to properly anchor his administration’s anti-graft crusade in the right frame of action.
HURIWA told President Buhari that “Nigerians are tired of hearing too many cock-and-bull stories from key office holders in the current administration whose statutory mandates were basically to pioneer the comprehensive but law-based crusade against the cankerworms of corruption and economic crimes tearing our nation apart and rendering millions of our citizens impoverished and endangered”.
HURIWA accused the principal characters involved in the anti-graft war of engaging in inter-personal and selfish combats to the detriment of the overall objectives of fighting the endemic corruption afflicting Nigeria just as the group observed that corruption amongst government officials in both the States and Federal levels are monumental whilst the supposed heads of the anti-graft crusade are politicizing the anti-corruption campaign for their self interests.
The Rights group also stated that the tripartite crises of confidence that have engulfed the Acting Chairman of EFCC and the Director General of DSS on one hand and between the acting head of the anti-graft body and the nation’s Attorney General on the other hand means that the aspirations and expectations of millions of Nigerians that president Buhari will wage a committed war against graft would remain a mirage and at best a pipe dream.
HURIWA stated that it is practically impossible for a war General to win a battle when the commanders of his ground troops are in constant confrontations over allegations of grave violations of the transparency laws.
The Rights group reminded president Buhari that long before the Acting chairman of the EFCC issued his laughable and infantile allegations that the so-called Cabal bought houses abroad in his name, the Director General of the Department of state services had written two dossiers sent to the senate president Dr. Bukola Saraki to oppose the confirmation as substantive EFCC chairman of Ibrahim Magu on the ground of his alleged relationship with suspected corrupt erstwhile military chief and a panelist in the arms procurement probe panel who was allegedly found with $1 million USD cash.
HURIWA recalled too that one of the sets of allegations against Magu was that an allegedly corrupt Nigerian procured for him an expensive residential property in an upscale area of the Federal Capital Territory. “The sharp coincidence between this allegation made by DSS in writing against the EFCC acting Chairman and the self propagated allegations by the Acting Chairman of EFCC that a cabal bought houses abroad in his name is too suspicious to be neglected or swept behind the carpets. These must be comprehensively investigated so the whole truth and nothing but the truth is unravelled”.
“Incase the president has chosen not to remember, may we remind him that DSS had in a report signed by folasade Bello on behalf the DG of DSS and dated October 3rd 2016 addressed to the clerk to the senate whereby the DSS claimed that Magu failed integrity test and would eventually constitute a liability to the anti-corruption drive of the current administration.”
HURIWA also reminded president Buhari that the family members of Abdulrasheed Maina had alleged that the DSS provided security to the fugitive just as the Federal Attorney General reportedly authored a letter asking for the reinstatement of Alhaji Maina long declared wanted over theft of over N2 Billion pension fund. The action of the minister of justice in the recall of the fugitive alleged pension thief amounted to a grave abuse of office which should fetch him an immediate dismissal.
The Rights group therefore has asked president Buhari to resuscitate his dying anti-graft crusade and restore credibility and integrity in the entire process by ordering a clean sweep out of office of the acting chairman of EFCC; the DG of DSS and the Federal Attorney General.
The group said if this recommendation is not activated then the anti-graft crusade is as good as dead and buried and any further media propaganda to the contrary amounts to collective slap on the intelligence of Nigerians.
HURIWA which also called for the forensic probe of the recent allegations by Ibrahim Magu that Cabal bought houses in his name, however said the acting chairman should be relieved of his office since he has clearly been bombarded by allegations of impropriety which requires that he does not interfere with thorough investigations including the latest claim of foreign housing assets bought purportedly in his name which he raised alarm over it.
HURIWA recalled that the EFCC had raised alarm over a plot to frame up the Acting Chairman of the commission by alleged cabals who bought properties in his name abroad.
HURIWA said the spokesman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren has raised the alarm reportedly over an alleged plot to frame its Acting Chairman, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, with ownership of assets abroad.
HURIWA recalled that EFCC had stated thus:“Those behind the plot, which is believed to be part of a grand design to discredit the anti-graft czar, have allegedly finalized plans to name Magu as the owner of choice properties in exotic locations abroad.”
HURIWA said EFCC stated also that: “The commission has information that the desperate cabal could take their gambit to the ridiculous extent of purchasing properties and registering them in the name of Ibrahim Magu to make the plot believable”.