The Presidency has said that those who see the investigation of the suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mr Ibrahim Magu, as a signal that the fight against corruption is failing, have failed to see the point.
In a statement on Saturday, the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu, noted that there couldn’t be a better indication that the anti-graft fight is real, than the will to openly investigate anyone who has been charged to head such systems.
According to Mr Garba, there are no sacred cows and even Mr Magu is not immune, regardless of the obvious embarrassment that potential acts of wrongdoing by him, given the office he held, may appear for the government.
He also noted that Mr Magu is being availed the opportunity to defend himself and answer the allegations against him.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Friday affirmed the suspension of Mr Magu and it took effect immediately.
According to a statement from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the presidential directive was to allow for an unhindered inquiry by the Presidential Investigation Panel under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act and other relevant laws.
Meanwhile, the EFCC Director of Operations, Mohammed Umar, has been directed to oversee the activities of the commission.
Read full statement below….
STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
PRESIDENCY STATEMENT ON THE SUSPENSION OF MR. IBRAHIM MAGU
A series of documented allegations were made against the Ag. Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). Following a preliminary review of the allegations leveled against the Ag. Chairman and several other members of his staff, there were grounds for a detailed investigation to be conducted.
Hence, an investigative panel was constituted in compliance with the extant laws governing the convening of such a body.
As is the proper procedure, when allegations are made against the Chief Executive of an institution, and in this case an institution that ought to be seen as beyond reproach, the Chief Executive has to step down from his post and allow for a transparent and unhindered investigation.
The EFCC does not revolve around the personality of an individual, and as such cannot be seen through the prism of any individual.
Therefore, the suspension of Mr. Ibrahim Magu, allows the institution to continue carrying out its mandate without the cloud of investigation hanging over its head.
The EFCC has many good, hardworking men and women who are committed to its ideal and ensuring that the wealth of our country isn’t plundered and wherein there is an act of misappropriation such person(s) are brought to justice.
Meanwhile, Mr. Magu is being availed the opportunity to defend himself and answer the allegations against him. This is how it should be, as is the fact that under the Laws of Nigeria every citizen is presumed and remains innocent until proven guilty.
We must realize that the fight against corruption is not a static event, but a dynamic and ever evolving process, in which the EFCC is just one actor; and as we continue to work towards improving our democratic process so shall every institution of ours also embark on that journey of evolution.
What is however important is that there must be accountability and transparency and our people must realize that they would be held to account. This is the building block in the fight against corruption, the establishment of the concept of Accountability and the recognition of the Rule of Law.
Those who see Mr. Magu’s investigation, as a signal that the fight against corruption is failing, have unfortunately, missed the boat.
There is no better indication that the fight is real and active than the will to investigate allegations in an open and transparent manner against those who have been charged to be custodians of this very system.
Under this President and Government, this is our mantra and guiding principle. There are no sacred cows, and for those who think they have a halo over their heads, their days are also numbered.
Mr. Magu was not immune – and regardless of the obvious embarrassment that potential acts of wrongdoing by him, given the office he held, may appear for the government.
No other administration in the history of Nigeria would have moved to bring into the light and public domain such an allegation.
Senior Special Assistant to the President
(Media & Publicity)
July 11, 2020