Youth council rally behind Buhari, Malami over Magu’s sack

As allegations and counter allegations of corruption continue to trail the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) has raised alarm of possible alliance from enemies of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to discredit his impeccable personality and administration.

The NYCN led by its President, Solomon Adodo at a solidarity rally held at the Unity Fountain, Abuja on Monday argued that the President’s insistence on ridding the NDDC of corruption has irked those who hitherto converted the Commission to their private estate whom he said have embarked on all manner of smear campaign against his administration.

Recall that the sacked former MD of NDDC, Ms. Joy Nunieh had alleged that Mr. Goodwill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affair, repeatedly pressured her to take “an oath of secrecy” that was meant to keep her from exposing fraud at the Commission during her brief tenure. According to her, the Minister had in one instance, asked her to raise a memo to fraudulently award emergency contracts for flood victims in the Niger Delta.

But the youths in their hundred carrying placards with different inscriptions such as “No one loves Niger Delta more than PMB”, “NDDC must be freed from corruption”, NDDC Probe must go on” amongst others maintained that the Nigerian youth would stand by the President to succeed in his effort to rid the nation of corruption and enthrone good governance.

“We know that hell has been let lose because of your insistence that the quantum corruption in the Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC) must be thoroughly investigated. This is the first time a Nigerian President is committed to saving the Niger-Delta people through Probity. All the culprits and opposition have aligned to deceive the country, malign your person and criticize the Government. But the Nigerian Youths are with you. We shall win those detractors and punish them under our law for their crimes.

The coming of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswill Akpabio, several monies have been recovered from projects not executed. Projects execution that took flight many years ago in the Commission began to spring up here and there for all to see. This is why we find it expedient to speak up as a group that has carried out thorough investigation on the activities of the Commission”, the group noted.

MAGU: AS FRANKINSTEIN MONSTER

By Inuwa Bwala

I hardly know Ibrahim Magu, embattled Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, but I have heard a lot about him, long before he came to national cum international limelight. As his kinsman from Borno, I have keenly followed his outing as chairman of the EFCC and I dare say that I was impressed, not until the allegations against him came to the fore.

I have also taken note of developments surrounding his unceremonious removal from office, his ongoing probe and subsequent detention. While others seem to be giving the issue political interpretations, our people are getting embarrassed, that, somebody who seemed to be giving us positive signals in our collective quests to change negative perceptions about us, is today being paraded as a common criminal, wrongly or rightly.

Without prejudice to what may turn out to be the findings of the panel probing him, and the eventual actions the Government may take, I am of the view that, the Government needs to tread more carefully in handling the Magu saga, as it has potentials of setting key players in the Government against each other and possibly of expose bigger and more consequential scandals.

I know as a matter of fact that, in adopting anti-corruption as the mantra of this Government, President Muhammadu Buhari might have probably felt embarrassed as a leader of a Nigeria that was rated as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. In reacting to that summation, our leaders cried wolves but decided to play the ostrich, apparently not ready to remedy the situation. The forces that brought Magu might have been confident that he was better suited for the job of adding value to the fight.

Of course, like every mortal, Magu could not have been a saint in a society that is itself thoroughly corrupt. He had his foible and Achilles heels, hence the mistakes, or better still Magu might have succumbed to the general norm which have tended to evade our values. In dealing with the situation, the President needs to personally intervene, knowing that, the narrative is already to the effect that, Magu is a victim of power play.

One does not have to be interested in the forces at play, that brought Ibrahim Magu to spearhead the fight as Chairman of the EFCC, but Nigerians generally regarded it as a bold move. The Government had been so impressed with Magu, and encouraged him on, even at the risk of branding the EFCC as the Government’s hunt dog against perceived opponents and critics. Even Magu’s critics seem to agree, that the EFCC under him was better than it had ever been.

Making an enemy out of a friend who knows so much about one’s activities, is a potentially very costly blunder. Removing Ibrahim Magu from office in the manner it was carried out and making a mockery of all that he had done could turn Magu into the virtual Frankenstein monster of the Government. Even if it was in presence, having danced with him in the euphoria of EFCC’s conquests, presupposes that there were mutual secrets shared with him.

The Government may be shooting itself in the foot if she pushes Magu too much, compelling him to reveal those secrets. Already, the global perspective focuses on the seeming irony in the Magu saga, to the effect that, the same Government that used Magu to propagate its agenda seem to have suddenly discovered that, the Borno State born Police officer was not after all the saint they had hitherto portrayed him to be.

When a blind man challenges an eyed man to a game of stone throwing, he might have already rested his foot on a ready stone, which he will use in the game. Ibrahim Magu’s bold stance in the face of the allegations against him should send the signal that he is ready for the game of throwing stones. Already, there are emergent issues, which may be tending towards rubbishing Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation; Ibrahim Magu’s accuser in chief.

There is a general perception, that, no matter how solid may be Ibrahim Magu’s defenses, the justice Ayo Salami investigative panel is set to nail him. There are strong indications that it may be long before Magu smells freedom: perhaps not in the life of this administration. However long it takes for him to be free, he will eventually speak and when it does, I fear the contents may not be too palatable.

Ibrahim Magu is no doubt a brilliant police officer, with a potentially bright future, making him the fall guy in the political Chess game will be a great disservice to the nation and most uncharitable to his family. Many potentially resourceful professionals have fallen victims of the power play amongst our political leaders, adding Magu to the list is to further deplete our human resources, especially in the crime fighting organ. Just a word of caution…

Inuwa Bwala is a journalist, author and Publisher of National Trail Newspaper.

BREAKING: Buhari reportedly suspends Magu as EFCC acting Chairman

Ibrahim Magu has been suspended as Acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by President Muhammadu Buhari, the BBC reports.

Magu spent the night in a police cell at the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) Headquarters in Abuja.

This followed a six-hour grilling by a presidential panel, chaired by Justice Ayo Salami, a former president of the Court of Appeal.

Buhari set up the panel to probe various allegations levelled against Magu, following a petition by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the Department of State Service (DSS).

EFCC secures 1,266 convictions in 14 months – Magu

The acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, said, on Monday, that the commission had secured 1,266 convictions from January 2019 till date.

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Magu disclosed this at a press conference marking the passing out parade of the Detective Inspector Course Five of the EFCC, at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Kaduna.
He explained that the commission secured 1,218 of the convictions in 2019 and 48 this year.
Magu said that in the last four years, EFCC had secured an unprecedented number of convictions.
He said that the commission also recovered billions of naira, millions of dollars and pound sterling as well as other foreign currencies.
“We have also handed over several forfeited properties to government agencies, thereby saving the nation billions of naira in rent.
“The profile of convictions we have secured is quite heavy; they involve former governors, captains of industry, former military chiefs, oil subsidy merchants and scores of players in the private sector.
“We are not relenting in our crusade and it is important that every Nigeria jumps into the bandwagon of anti-corruption fight,” he added.
He said that the passing out parade was the peak of months of intensive and extensive military training and grooming of the cadets, in preparation for their challenging and exciting career as operatives of the commission.
The acting chairman said that EFCC was training officers who could not be intimidated by challenges, discouraged by threats or defeated by any obstacle that might come their ways in the course of their career.
“Corruption is a mountain and it can only be broken by prepared men and women of valour and virtues, as everything that went into training of the graduating cadets was necessary for their fitness.
“Nigeria shall never be corrupted because we will not give up and we will not surrender to the forces of darkness and greed in our midst,” he said.
Magu promised that the commission would never relent in its efforts to rid Nigeria of all forms of corrupt practices.