It is no longer news that the acting boss of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has been asked to step aside. At the moment, the allegations leveled against him are before a 7-man panel headed by Ayo Salami.
But for an institution such as the EFCC, what are the issues that are needed to be looked into?
Yes, truly, every public institution must be led by a leader who is above board. This is even especially true for an institution such as the EFCC that is at the forefront of fighting corruption in a country such as Nigeria. Anyone who must head these institutions must have a proven track record of solid integrity. Now, Ibrahim Magu was a top police officer before being appointed to head the EFCC, as is required by the constitution. Was he a credible person? Now, that these allegations are coming up, we shall await the result of the investigation. On the other hand, however, you will agree that Magu has done a lot in terms of fighting corruption. With the support of his boss, President Muhammadu Buhari, he has practically gone after every high but corrupt government official and has prosecuted them and in many cases recovered what they stole. I think we need to give it to Ibrahim Magu on that. So then, could it be that the corruption Magu fought vigorously is now fighting back at him? Or could it be as a result of the no love lost reportedly present between the ex-EFCC boss and the Attorney General of the Federation?
Legal expert and political analyst, who was the Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association Ikeja Branch, Barrister Ubani, said for the fact that Magu was whisked away without his consent means that he was arrested. If the allegations are proved to be false, can we then say our democracy is safe? Can we ever have anyone again operate in the EFCC office maximally and efficiently without fear of stepping on certain toes? Can corruption truly be dealt with in our national lives? Can we truly redeem our image in the eyes of the international community? Sadly, Nigerians have become disadvantaged people both at home and abroad; certain transactions cannot be carried out if you are a Nigerian. Just recently, the Lebanese ambassador to Nigeria reportedly walked out on members of the House of Representatives when asked about the maltreatment Nigerians were getting from their Lebanese employers.
Ibrahim Magu’s case should be followed up by all well-meaning Nigerians. If he is guilty, he should be dealt with according to the law. But if otherwise, we must rise to defend our democracy.