Following the alleged arrest of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption on Monday decried the ongoing prosecution of the anti-graft agency’s boss.
A ranking member of PACAC and professor of criminology, Femi Odekunle, said in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH on Monday that the ongoing scenario was power-play among the power blocs in the Presidency.
He said, “The alleged arrest of Ibrahim Magu for alleged corrupt practices, the real information that was given to us was that he was not arrested but invited to appear before a panel which he was aware of. To us, all these seem to be the outcome of some power-play among the power blocs within the presidency in which the Attorney-General, Malami, seems to be an arrowhead or an agent that is not interested in the Buhari’s anti-corruption fight.
“Recall that Magu’s had twice been rejected confirmation on this or that excuse. Recall too that the man’s name has not been submitted since 2019, even though the 9th Assembly was willing to consider, among others.
“The understanding of PACAC is that if anybody against Magu is guilty of corruption, they should be dealt with. I remember that as a member of PACAC, I was forced on the television to say that the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, should leave the office and tried.
“So, we are not against anybody being tried, but we are saying that President Buhari must be careful not to shoot his anti-corruption fight on the foot because without Magu in EFCC I do not think there would be much concerning our anti-corruption fight.
He urged the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) to wake up in the ongoing shenanigans against Magu.
Odekunle also called on the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, to investigate the ongoing drama and give proper advice to the President.
“Our opinion is that the present Attorney-General, who we know, because we are the policy/advisory body to anti-corruption fight, that Malami is not really committed to the anti-corruption fight. To us, he must be allegedly exploiting his loyalty and closeness to Buhari for his own personal or peer-group interest. What about the PIIB case that had been on since 2015? He did not bring it up until it blew up.
“The President should wake up in the ongoing shenanigan concerning Magu. Our hope is also in that fact that the incumbent Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari should come to play here and give proper advice to the President. The PACAC is not pleased with the attempt to rubbish the man,” he said.