By Olakunle Abimbola
Need a positive, straight and quick-fire path to Golgotha?
Observe the path of Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee (EFCC) chairs, previous and current: Nuhu Ribadu, Farida Waziri, Ibrahim Lamorde and now, Ibrahim Magu.
All seem fated to willy-nilly nailing to the cross, just like the Christ Jesus rather than Barabas. But, their workplace was conceived to assist drain Nigeria of sleaze.
Even then, with the holy venality of the Olusegun Obasanjo period that simply consumed Ribadu on the earliest juncture of the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Presidency; and President Goodluck Jonathan’s sheer travesty at combating corruption, making a regime of notoriously voracious “yam eaters”, that in flip threw up detached EFCC chairs, Magu’s path would seem the goriest up to now.
Although a poster boy of an administration that makes anti-corruption its most basic plank, flaunting the near-ascetic President Buhari at its head, and a near-saintly Pastor-Lawyer, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as No. 2, the institutional assist for Magu would seem very suspect.
If that can not be utterly confirmed by his “everlasting” performing chairman standing, with the refusal of the Senate to verify his chairmanship, his moderately shabby remedy, since his newest odyssey began on July 6, reinforces simply that.
A moderately dramatic DSS (or is it standard Police?) “arrest”, later denied and dubbed “invitation” (even when apparently pressured — a positive contradiction in phrases), nonetheless climaxed in an after-probe detention for nights on finish.
The embattled Magu is going through an administrative probe, however bail seems no choice. But, even indicted individuals, in standard courts, push authorized and democratic rights to bail. Lexis and ideas by no means come extra confused!
When the elephant falls, say the Yoruba, all form of knives teem to validate their sharpness. On the journey of Magu, mud-spattering and wild allegations assume a doomsday proportion, that you just simply marvel what’s the motive by all of it.
A high columnist, with glam and sprint, claimed Magu invaded, commando-style, the Minna residence of Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, former army head of state. Abubakar has since denied such, although he admitted an EFCC near-search, on account of a mix-up in addresses, at a visitor home outdoors Minna, belonging to the overall.
The identical columnist additionally claimed Magu stopped Gen. Theophilus Danjuma from paying for a non-public jet, allegedly forcing his cheque to bounce, thus making an irate Danjuma to storm Aso Villa, to protest to the president.
However on that declare, mum is it from the Danjuma camp, even when the overall did go to the president currently however got here out sounding extra conciliatory, much less combative, as Danjuma and his Christian Elders foyer are currently wont to.
One other blogger has gone moderately ga-ga with wild allegations, entrapping Magu, Vice President Osinbajo, and Kiki, the VP’s daughter.
Whereas the VP has notified the IGP on prison prosecution after thorough investigation, over alleged slush cash from Magu, Miss Osinbajo’s landlord has pooh-poohed the blogger’s declare that she owned the constructing housing her Abuja enterprise handle. Dr. Ayuba Musa, the owner, has affirmed Miss Osibajo was his tenant, as she earlier claimed.
Even the official “expenses” would seem, at a better look, as simply card-stacking.
Okay, the allegation of a N5billion discrepancy, in recovered stolen funds, is grave sufficient. Magu’s EFCC is alleged to have declared N539 billion, as a substitute of N504 billion, which Magu’s traducers, with their media confederates, have triumphantly dubbed “re-looting the loot”. That deserves probing, truthful and sq..
However the different allegations would seem manic mud-splashing, in a ruthless intra-administration turf conflict, for vicious supremacy: Magu’s alleged insubordination to the Legal professional-Common of the Federation and Justice minister, hoarding info on the extradition of Diezani Alison-Madueke, the Jonathan period’s alleged queen of sleaze and alleged late investigation of Course of and Industrial Growth (P&ID), which led to a Butcher arbitration in London nearly butchering Nigeria in punitive prices.
Different allegations embrace the existence of “Magu boys”, delay in performing on two seized vessels, resulting in a wanton lack of crude, reporting some judges to their presiding officers with out going via the AGF, gross sales of seized belongings to alleged cronies, and alleged leaking of some investigated instances to the media, thus allegedly prejudicing the instances, in type of media trials.
By the way, Magu and Abubakar Malami, SAN, the Justice minister, who seems Magu’s traducer-in-chief on this one, approximate the 2 contrasting forces, tearing the Buhari Presidency aside, in what seems a harmful rigidity.
The ascendancy of the Malami facet would in all probability sink Magu — and if he’s responsible as charged, why not?
However that may even pronounce a harsh indictment, if not extreme verdict, on Buhari’s anti-graft conflict, of which Magu is an unfazed poster boy. So, all the current pleasure would possibly effectively be a harsh self-plebiscite, which may simply finish as unforced error. However we wait with bated breath!
Nonetheless, the moderating, nay redeeming, pressure would seem Justice Ayo Salami, former President of the Courtroom of Attraction, a sufferer of Jonathan-era executive-judicial politics, as a result of the courtroom he presided over did retrieve stolen mandates.
In a match of self-mockery, Bode George, the Lagos politician, has decreed Justice Salami’s integrity suspect. However with all their havoc as ruling social gathering, how would George and his PDP know integrity, even when they noticed one — PDP that has joined the nail-Magu orchestra with a frenzy?
Nonetheless, whereas Justice Salami misplaced his workplace however regained his honour, the judiciary he left behind sunk into untrammeled rot, hitherto believed not possible; climaxing within the Code of Conduct (CCT) conviction of a sitting CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghnen.
Together with his misplaced battle towards CJN Aloysius Katsina-Alu’s judicial order, and fulsome demonization from charlatan politicians out for the jurist’s blood in any respect price, he would at the least respect Magu’s current goring, by wolves baying for his blood.
Certainly, Magu’s seems a one-man bravura towards graft, with sans institutional assist: an eternally performing EFCC chair (denied affirmation by the Senate), had his well-earned conviction, in a celebrated corruption case, smashed by a cynical apex courtroom flashing triumphant technicality, and now being thrown underneath the bus by his direct govt bosses! What suicide mission!
But, in all the administration, Magu seems such a riveting alter ego of the president himself: heckled, abused, mocked and traduced, for the braveness to do good, and save a doomed society from itself, with its suicidal elite!
Nonetheless, nonetheless the Magu muddle is resolved, the thieving Nigerian elite will get their comeuppance: if not on this PMB anti-graft conflict, then in an iconoclastic orgy, the place each plunderer of the general public until can pay, the exhausting means, for his crime.
When that dawns, no Supreme Courtroom would flex its technical powers to spring convicts; no legislature would filibuster over confirmations of goodly public servants; no turf battles would throw conscientious public servants underneath the bus.
Earlier than that doomsday, nonetheless, could the nice Lord open President Muhammadu Buhari’s eyes to see via a turf conflict, which received by the fallacious camp, could effectively bury his anti-corruption conflict; and Justice Salami the knowledge of Solomon, to make sure a uncommon first rate public officer will get justice, irrespective of the flying doomsday allegations.