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Wished: a saintly anti-graft curator

Emmanuel Oladesu

He got here. He noticed. He deliberate to beat. However, right this moment, like his predecessors, Ibrahim Magu, performing chairman of the Financial and Monetary Crimes Fee (EFCC), might go away workplace unceremoniously.

The decision, because it now seems, is that he couldn’t conquer. The hunter has grow to be the hunted by the grace of some principals and principalities. The forces that annoyed his affirmation might have lastly removed him, 5 years after he launched into the tempestuous journey.

Their declare is {that a} hole has been detected in his rating card. To them, he’s an undesirable czar with a blemish; an enormous ethical burden that shouldn’t be related to a monetary crime campaign. Could also be, he performed into their fingers as Yoruba will at all times say: “you can not grasp the artwork of strolling with out shaking your head (A kii mo on rin, ki ori ma ji).

The tragedy of imminent mid-career disaster is just not past expectation. It has been a topic of media hypothesis. It’s at a private value to the person within the eye of the storm. It might inadvertently translate right into a larger value to the nation, if not a disservice to all the anti-graft warfare, one of many pillars of the Buhari administration. In whose curiosity is the removing of Magu, if he’s to be shoved apart? If he’s unfit for the EFCC job, can he even be match for the job of a policeman thereafter?

The allegations in opposition to him are weighty. The burden is on him to defend himself. The burden can also be on these behind the allegations to supply incontrovertible proof.

However, the possibility of survival for him is predictably slim. The priority of the general public is just not the cost, however whether or not there may be additionally an underlying agenda on the a part of his ‘tormentors’ that’s past the ken and comprehension of the odd folks. If there may be an agenda, then, it might be political. Whether it is political, then, it might be futuristic.

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If the allegations levelled in opposition to him are true or if they’re proved past affordable doubt, then, it’s a nationwide catastrophe;  a betrayal of public belief on the a part of an individual who ought to be above board.

Magu sought to make a distinction. That has been the final impression of the plenty who’re largely victims of economic crimes and financial adversity. The notion is that he fought with bravery, regardless of the obstacles on his path. He confronted the plague from a susceptible place and with out the overall institutional backing, as mirrored in his non-confirmation.

To observers, Magu had the pressure of character, willingness and patriotism. All these weren’t sufficient within the absence of complete freedom to fight sleaze in excessive quarters. Not solely was corruption combating again, the performing chair additionally had a formidable hindrance. He was certain to take orders from a minister of presidency. How unbiased subsequently, is the anti-corruption fee?

Since former President Olusegun Obasanjo arrange the EFCC to combat cash laundering, stealing of public funds and common financial sabotage, the company has gone via transformations and trials. An vital obstacle is the shortage of a separate anti-financial crime tribunal or courtroom to strive corrupt public officers. The traditional courtroom proceedings are cumbersome, lengthy and extended by events in disputes. Magu, like his predecessors, had been nonetheless erroneously blamed for the judicial slowness.

From the inception, the company additionally had been contending with the hostility of privileged, highly effective and influential few, who’re personification of graft and therefore, a

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goal of EFCC. These public enemies could also be mocking Magu in his hour of trial and tribulation.

The primary chairman of the EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, lawyer and policeman, got down to genuinely pursue the cardinal objectives of the fee. He was courageous, daring and daring. He was even brave to maneuver in opposition to his boss, Police Inspector-Normal Tafa Balogun, who escaped a jail time period via plea bargaining.

However, EFCC beneath Ribadu was mentioned to have derailed, owing to political pressures. The company turned a veritable device for manipulation and witch hunt of perceived political foes. The pioneer chairman left with out actualising his desires for the company. Later, Ribadu was persecuted. When tribulation arose, he was spirited throughout the borders. He returned as a politician; a presidential aspirant who couldn’t fly.

His successor, Mrs Farida Waziri, a police officer and lawyer, tried her greatest. The seat was sizzling for the Amazon. Whereas the suspects got here to the courtroom, they got here with drums and supporters who hailed them to excessive heavens. She was alarmed that society was encouraging corruption.

Waziri’s memoir is filled with how impediments had been thrown on her method and the way the highly effective and the mighty undermined the anti-graft warfare. She was within the saddle for 3 years.

Her successor, Lamorde, got here with a distinct type. He was not a noise maker, however a silent employee. However, his days had been numbered on the day he assumed the reins.

Whereas Ribadu, Waziri and Lamorde had been confirmed by the Senate, Magu was not fortunate. He had stepped on toes. The performing chairman was rejected by the Senate in 2015. Forward of the parliamentary screening, safety brokers had forwarded conflicting reviews about Magu. One of many reviews was an indictment. Based mostly on the unfavourable report, Senate President Bukola Saraki referred to as for a substitute. President Muhammadu Buhari refused. However, Magu continued in workplace.

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Lately, the performing chairman reeled out his achievements. These embody the restoration of billions of stolen cash and convictions of perpetrators of economic crimes. However, trials had been unduly extended by the antics of suspects and their counsel who hid beneath authorized technicalities and different loopholes.

Out of the blue, the beat stopped. Magu turned the visitor of a panel chaired by Justce Ayo Salami set as much as examine his involvement in alleged infractions. Additionally, he was grilled by the Directorate of Safety Service (DSS).

It isn’t clear whether or not he’s now on suspension. If he’s on suspension as alleged, the suspension marked the top of an period within the EFCC.

Was Magu a hypocrite pretending to be a saint? The nation awaits a brand new czar. If the decision is that the performing chairman ought to go, who’s the saint that may exchange Magu?

The EFCC wants the collective prayers of Nigerians because it continues to combat financial crimes in post-Magu period.

The EFCC will proceed to reveal his fangs. Corrupt parts shouldn’t have any hiding place. However, eyes may even be on the fee because it discharges its duties. Could the company beneath the brand new helmsman in post-Magu interval stay targeted and by no means regress right into a device of political manipulation, victimization and repression.

Could the EFCC not grow to be a device for harassment and liquidation of the aspirations of sure formidable politicians as Nigeria peeps into 2023, paying homage to the previous.

Could the company muster the energy to justify the belief and confidence reposed in it by Nigerians always.

 

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