N19b, $86m refund probe sparks anti-Magu protest

0
Ibrahim Magu

A group of protesters stormed the Abuja office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday.

The protesters were demanding EFCC Acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu’s removal.

Detectives said they had  unveiled the sponsor of the protest. They claimed that it was sponsored by a governor, who is  said to be angry over the ongoing investigation of alleged mismanagement of N19billion and $86million London-Paris Club loan refund.

The  cash was deducted to pay consultants and legal advisors, but some of the beneficiaries are yet to get paid.

It was learnt that the governor was unhappy that the EFCC had closed in on him.

The EFCC has established a business link between the governor and one of the consultants.

The governor is believed by detectives to have paid for customised T-shirts, Fez caps and the crowd that invaded the EFCC Headquarters.

Some of the aides of the governor were said to have arrived in Abuja on Wednesday to coordinate the march, which was “designed to mount pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to drop Magu”.

A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “We have security report on how a governor has descended low to sponsor a protest against the continuation of the Acting EFCC chairman in office.

“Some of the aides of the governor had lodged in a posh hotel from where they coordinated the protest.

 

“Their real plan was to invade EFCC and vandalise it. But policemen and security agents on duty had been forewarned to be polite and allow the protesters to have their way.

“We know the governor is unhappy that the EFCC is probing his roles in the alleged mismanagement of N19billion and $86million London-Paris Club loan refund.

“One of the consultants involved in the alleged mismanagement was found to have a business relationship with the governor. Records showed that they had been business partners over the years.”

Some money, allegedly traced to the governor,  has been recovered from the account of the consultancy firm,” The Nation learnt.

“It is a case of fighting for refund and reaping illegally from it. The governor had preferred a political solution to the investigation. He wanted the EFCC to stop it. But the agency prefers to see the probe to its logical conclusion,” the source added.

Earlier in the day, the protesters had made futile efforts to storm the EFCC.

They came under the banner of the Global Centre for Conscious Living Against Corruption( GLOCCOLAC), wielding placards with the inscription:  “Magu must go! Magu must go! Magu must go!”

They sang:  “We no go gree oh! We no go gree oh, Magu must go!

But the policemen and Civil Defence Corps members at the sentry stopped them from storming the facility.

The Director-General of GLOCCOLAC, Dr. Nwambu Gabriel, said the group was unhappy with EFCC’s style under Magu.

He said: “Rather than operate in a covert manner, the EFCC exposes vital documents that are meant to be kept as confidential office matters, thereby violating the code of conduct and oath of secrecy as contained in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This also contradicts the entire essence of the Act establishing the commission.

“It is in record that several suspects were tried and convicted on the pages of newspapers, blogs, website of various social media platforms only for these innocent people to be cleared by courts of competent jurisdiction.

“Again within just 96 hours, EFCC lost five high profile cases, namely Justice Ademola Adeniyi; Elder Godsday Orubebe; the former DG of NIMASA, Sen. Abdulazeez Murtala Nyako and Murtala Adamu Jangebe of Zamfara State.

“In view of the foregoing, it becomes evidently  clear that Mr. Ibrahim Magu has grossly violated the fundamental rights of many Nigerian citizens, destroying  their image and  integrity, which is against the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In the same way, he has violated the code of conduct of public service and, consequently, the oath of secrecy.

“Magu also turned President Muhammadu Buhari’s genuine fight against corruption into a laughing stock before the league of nations. Magu’s style  of trying suspects on the pages of newspapers and inability to secure convictions at the courts of competent jurisdiction is a threat to the efforts, commitment and  determination to reduce corruption to the barest minimum by the Buhari administration.

“For the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari is a respecter of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and in consideration of the DSS report against Magu and subsequent non-confirmation of Magu by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu’s continuous stay in office and parading himself as the Acting Chairman of EFCC for over the mandatory 90 days, is a clear violation of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Magu is therefore now operating another constitution within the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“In the interest of peace and respect of the tenets of modern democracy hinged on the rule if law, these civil society organizations and indeed many Nigerians who support President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption are hereby  as a matter of urgency, request the authorities concerned to immediately remove Magu as the Acting  chairman of EFCC and replace him with a more competent and committed Nigerian citizen for the realisation of the present administration’s goal in fighting corruption.”

Leave a Reply