Buhari’s Letter On Babachir Has Raised More Questions Than Answers – Ismael Ahmed

Ismael Ahmed APC member on Lawal BabchirA member of the All Progressives Congress’ Board of Trustees, Ismael Ahmed, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s latest letters to the Senate have whipped up more questions than answers.

The letters were for the confirmation of Mr Ibrahim Magu, as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and another written in response to a request that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Lawal Babachir.

Mr Ahmed was particular about the letter focusing on the SGF, which critics said was a defense for the SGF by the President, but on the renomination of Mr Magu, he said: “The president is within his right to renominate the rejected acting chairman of the EFCC, Mr Magu.

“Some of the concerns that were raised as impediments for not going ahead with the confirmation by the Senate initially, have been taken care of and it is left for the Senate to begin the legislative process, get to the confirmation hearing and determine whether the EFCC acting chairman is fit to be confirmed or not”.

On the issue of the SGF, he pointed out that “the issue of corruption is a very sensitive issue to Nigerians and incredibly so for this government because it is an anchor upon which we were elected into office.

“The President, I think in his own wisdom, thought it was necessary to write back a response on the reasons he could not carry out some of the things that they (the Senators) decided that he should. He felt that that was necessary, but as a politician, I will tell you that I do not think that the Senate were expecting a response from the President.

“I thought the letter would have raised more questions than answers, from the side that the president was trying hard to protect some of his appointees.

“I wouldn’t have written the letter,” he emphasised.

The member of Board of Trustees of the APC, however, pointed out that the letter was not a defense for the SGF, but written to give the Senate a leeway to continue with its investigation.

Babachir Lawal
There are allegations that border on conflict of interest against Mr Lawal Babachir

A lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani, who doubted that the letter was from Mr Buhari, had described the letter as a funeral for the anti-corruption crusade of the President.

Critics have also said that the letter did not show the moral standard of the current government that had in the pinnacle of its campaign manifesto, a glaring desire to fight corruption.

Conflict Of Interest

Mr Ahmed, however, said that it was too early to judge that the apc-led administration had lowered the moral standard of fighting corruption, but insisted that writing such a letter comes with such a political implication.

“The moral standard is high for the administration to deal with anyone involved in corrupt practices.

“I am sure that if we were in the stock market, our shares would have fallen since that letter was written,” he said.

The APC member insisted that the Mr Babachir’s being in office will not affect investigations into allegations that he awarded contracts to a company that he had a stake in.

Highlighting the All Progressives Congress’ commitment to fighting corruption, he emphasised that awarding a contract to a company he had a stake in was inimical to the office he occupies and tantamount to conflict of interest.

He also insisted that if investigations showed the SGF was culpable, he should be sacked and prosecuted.

Rejection And Re-submission Of Magu’s Name; A Lawyer’s Perspective

daniel bwala nigerian lawyer on MaguA Nigerian lawyer, Daniel Bwala, on Tuesday gave his opinion on the Senate’s rejection of the request for confirmation of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu and the resubmission of his name by President Muhammadu Buhari. 

The Senate had on December 15 refused to confirm Mr Magu.

Explaining the reason behind the decision, the Senate said that security report available to it showed that Mr Magu was not fit to be chairman of the body.

In this regard, the lawmakers sent back his nomination letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.

On Monday, however, the Nigerian President re-submitted Magu’s name to the Senate for confirmation as the substantive chairman of the anti-graft agency.

It was gathered that the President’s letter to that effect has been received by the Senate and may be read on the floor of the upper legislative chamber on Tuesday.

But Mr Bwala believes the earlier rejection by the Senate was more political and personal than it was on his character.

He insisted that the right process would have been the quizzing of Mr Magu at plenary, with the allegations put forward and an opportunity presented to him to defend himself.

On Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, the lawyer said that the resubmission of the name may have been as a result of recommendations made to the presidency by the Attorney General’s office after an investigation of the allegations against Mr Magu.

“It is possible that the President may have, after the recommendations of the Attorney General, come to the conclusion that there is no serious allegation against him.

“I have always had the view that magu’s rejection was political and personal than on the fact that was presented to the national assembly.

“We had thought that it was a serious allegation that the Senate had put forward.

“The circumstances surrounding the rejection and the procedure should be considered. There is supposed to be a debate for the suitability of the person for the position that the Presidency was nominating him for,” he explained.

The lawyer further alleged that on personal ground, Mr Magu’s desire to prosecute some former minister and governors, whom he said were now Senators, could have made the Senators refuse to confirm him.

“We all heard that prior to the period that Magu had said that the EFCC was embarking on prosecuting former governors and Minister. Most of this persons are in the Senate.

“EFCC is larger and bigger than Magu.

“We know that there are quite a number of cases that are on Magu’s table and if he is replaced, there is 90 per cent charge that they will die a natural death.

“When you say you want to investigate ministers, former governors that are now in the Senate and former Senators, it goes without saying that they will probably make an attempt to stop you from being confirmed,” he added.

Mr Bwala says he expects the Senate to confirm Mr Magu following the right process of fair hearing, pointing out that Nigerians also need to hear how Mr Magu will respond to the allegations against him.

Buhari Re-nominates Ibrahim Magu As EFCC Chairman

Buhari Re-nominates Ibrahim Magu As EFCC ChairmanPresident Muhammadu Buhari appears to have re-nominated Ibrahim Magu to be confirmed by the Senate as the substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC).

It was gathered that the President’s letter to that effect has been received by the Senate and may be read on the floor of the upper legislative chamber on Tuesday.

The federal lawmakers had in 2016 turned down the President’s request for the confirmation of Mr. Magu who is currently the acting chairman of the anti-corruption body.

They cited security report by the Department of Security Services (DSS) which the Senate claimed indicted Mr Magu.

The decision by the Senate had been a subject of controversy as former Senate Leader, Ali Ndume, had insisted that Mr Magu was not rejected by the lawmakers but his confirmation was only stepped down for further consultation with the Presidency.

The position was swiftly countered by Senate spokesman, Aliyu Abdullahi, who insisted that the acting EFCC boss had been rejected.

He insisted that the official position of the Senate remained that the lawmakers cannot confirm Mr Magu because of security reports which showed that he was not fit to be EFCC Chairman.

In July 2016, the Senate received the letter from the Presidency for the confirmation of the appointment of Magu.

The letter also sought the confirmation of Mr Ndasule Moses, Lawan Mamman, Galadanci Imam, and Adeleke Rafiu as members of the commission.

Consequently, the Upper House sent back the nomination letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on December 15, refusing to confirm Mr Magu’s appointment.

Mr Magu has been acting as the chairman of the anti-graft agency since November 2015, after President Buhari removed Mr Ibrahim Lamorde.

Senate Insists Magu Cannot Be EFCC Chairman

Ibrahim Magu, EFCC Chairman, SenateThe Nigerian Senate has maintained its position that it has rejected the confirmation of Mr Ibrahim Magu, as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The spokesman for the Upper House, Senator Aliyu Abdullahi, made the disclosure to reporters on Tuesday at the National Assembly in Abuja.

Senator Abdullahi said Nigerians should disregard comments made by any Senator or member of the public to the contrary.

He insisted that the official position of the Senate remained that the lawmakers cannot confirm Mr Magu because of security reports which showed that he was not fit to be EFCC Chairman.

In July 2016, the Senate had received the letter from the Presidency for the confirmation of the appointment of Magu.

The letter also sought the confirmation of Mr Ndasule Moses, Lawan Mamman, Galadanci Imam, and Adeleke Rafiu as members of the commission.

Consequently, the Upper House sent back the nomination letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on December 15, refusing to confirm Mr Magu’s appointment.

Mr Magu has been acting as the chairman of the anti-graft agency since November 2015, after President Buhari removed Mr Ibrahim Lamorde.

FG Should Be Blamed For EFCC Appointment Saga – Robert Clarke

FG Should Be Blamed For EFCC Appointment Saga - Robert ClarkeVeteran lawyer, Mr Robert Clarke, believes the federal government and not the Senate or the DSS should be blamed for the non-confirmation of Mr Ibrahim Magu as EFCC Chairman.

Speaking on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, Mr Clarke opined that the allegations against Mr Magu, upon which the Senate based its refusal of his nomination must have been known to the executive.

“There is no way DSS will just send a report directly to the Senate” he said, arguing that this information “passed through a conduit pipe created by the executive”.

He wondered why the Executive still went ahead to forward Magu’s name as nominee for the position when it must have received information that put his integrity under questioning.

“At that stage, why did they not hold on, call a meeting and call Magu himself and say ‘look we are going to withdraw your name’?

The Senate’s decision to reject Magu has generated controversy and Clarke believes that the embarrassment could have been avoided if the government had acted on the information and consequently prevented it from reaching the Senate.

He, however, believes that the revelation might not be a valid basis upon which corruption cases handled under Mr Magu’s leadership of the EFCC should be brought into disrepute.

The Senate has come out to say that it has not totally rejected Mr Ibrahim Magu but has only sent documents back to the executive. This Mr Clarke described as a case of “half a dozen and six”.

“Whichever language you use, it amounts to rejection. If I send a paper to you for approval and you say ‘I’m not rejecting your paper but I am not going to approve it. I will send it back to you’, what does that mean?

“It’s just the same thing. They have rejected him; let us be honest about it,” he said.

 

Magu’s Confirmation: Conspiracy Between DSS And Senate Is Appalling – CACOL

Magu's Confirmation: Conspiracy Between DSS And Senate Is Appalling - CACOLThe Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, has described the Senate’s non-conformation of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as the substantive EFCC Chairman, based on what was described as a ‘security report’ from the Department of State Services (DSS) as appalling and ridiculous.

CACOL reiterated its position on the lingering debacle in a statement by its Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran on Saturday.

Media reports have listed the ‘infringements’ purportedly committed by the EFCC boss to include; Magu’s arrest, detention and suspension by the Police, that the sum of N40m was paid for renting an apartment, which costs N20m per annum; possession of official EFCC documents in his private residence during the period Farida Waziri was the EFCC boss amongst others.

The group, however, believes that there is more to this than meets the eye.

The statement reads: “Without prejudice to the veracity or otherwise of these “infringements”, we insist that what is really at the background of the debacle is the reality that the Senate knows Magu’s salts and the fact that he is worth it!

“The Senate as presently constituted from the leadership to the rank and file members, is peopled by deeply corrupt elements that deserve no space in such a quintessential Arm of government in a democracy that it is fledging.

“We find it utterly ridiculous that it is at this point that the DSS is just coming up with so-called infringements after about a year of Magu superintending over an Agency of government that is so central to the anti-corruption drive of our country.

“Clearly, there is the auspicious need for Nigerians to really take back their country from a political class that is hell-bent on imposing and spreading the virus called corruption in the polity. Their effrontery in fighting back given the ‘anti-corruption mode of the people’ now knows no limits.

“Our take is that, we, collectively and urgently need to rescue our country; regain our respect within the comity nations to a large extent. A fundamental thing we must realize is that the fight against corruption is actually about sustaining a national consensus that will focus on our strong desire to sanitize our country.

“The point is that, at some time as people, we forget our goals and focus on frivolities at the expense whatever gains of what we consciously describe as ‘anti-corruption mode of the people’ that has recently activated in the country.

“Let’s get serious, we must recognize the inevitable need to own the anti-corruption drive and raising the bars regardless of the occupiers of power at any point, we cannot afford let down the guard. The consequences of corruption need not be over-emphasized, for our socio-economic reality says it all.

The DSS and Senate’s current connivance over Magu betrays conscious mischief and conspiracy if the last time the DSS carried out a ‘sting operation on corrupt judges and the fire and brimstones that came from the Senate were anything to take serious at all.

“It is important to state that we understand perfectly the imperatives of holding ‘principle of separation of powers’ in constitutional democracy as sacred! But won’t we be engaging in national tomfoolery if we pretend not understand what is at stake on this issue?

“We must always be circumspective and objective when some of these ‘conflicts’ within a ruling class that has overtime established themselves as incurably greedy props up. What actually, constitute our priorities if we indeed profess to anti-corruption and the effort to rid our country of the virus of corruption that is so deeply seated in our system as whole?

“The truth is, if mischief was not involved, why would the DSS submit the so-called damning report to the Senate, rather than begin where they should have begun? For crying out loud, the head of the DSS sits on the Board of the Commission of EFCC as constitutionally required by the Act that established the agency i.e. EFCC Establishment Act 2004!

“Again, why would such a sensitive report on someone who has occupied such a sensitive position for about one year be delayed till this time? What sort of security apparatus will so wickedly wait till now while our country was at such ‘grievous’ risk before releasing these apparently manufactured allegations against Magu?

“If the allegations were true, it only tells a lot about the kind of people who the country has put its security in charge of. We need serious introspection on this disgraceful attitude which we consider as punishable under the code of conduct of intelligence and security agencies and personnel.

“Magu, who chairs the board and other members were obviously open to scrutiny and must have been subjected to same logically given the sensitivity of their designated roles as security and intelligence agents.

“The open rivalry amongst the security agencies has once again reared its ugly and embarrassing head in the present debacle which we need to take serious note of. It’s truism that even the DSS is required to report to a higher hierarchy in our security system, making it compulsory for the Service to report to the office of the National Security Adviser.

“The Service and all other security agencies must not be seen to be partakers in the self-serving ways of the political class.

1 By the Act that established the EFCC, the board of the commission consists of the following members,

(A)          A chairman, who shall-

(1)      Be the Chief Executive and Accounting officers of the Commission

(2)   Be a serving or retired member of any government security or law enforcement agency not below the rank of Assistance Commissioner of police or equivalent, and

(3)   Posses not less than 15years cognate experience

(B)       The Governor of the Central Bank or his representative, and

(C)       A representative each of the following federal Ministries

                (1) Foreign Affairs,

                (2) Finance,

                (3) Justice,

(D) The Chairman National Drug Law Enforcement Agency or his representative,

(E) The Director General of-

(1) The National Intelligence Agency

(2) The Department of State Security Services or his representative,

(F) The Registrar- General of the corporate Affairs Commission or his Representative

(G) The director general, Securities and Exchange Commission or his representative,

(H) The Managing Director, Nigeria-Deposit Insurance Corporation or his representative

(I) The Commissioner for Insurance or his representative,

(J) The Postmaster-General of the Nigerian Postal services or his representative,

(K)  The Chairman, Nigerian Communication Commission or his representative

(L) The Comptroller –General, Nigerian Customs Services or his representative,

(M) The Comptroller-General Nigeria, Immigration Services or his representative

(N) A inspector General of Police or his representative,

(O) Four eminent Nigerians with cognate experience in any of the following that is finance, banking and accounting, and

(P) The secretary to the commission who shall be the head of administration

  1. The members of the Commission, other than the Chairman and the Secretary shall be part times members
  2. The chairman and members of the Commission other than ex-officio members shall be appointed by the President and appointment shall be subject to the confirmation of the senate.

“The above should be instructive enough to expose the present mischief for the undiscerning to see and for the need for us all to remain vigilant as corruption fight backs.

“We once again, call for the resignation of Mr. Bukola Saraki as the Senate President given the plethora of corruption cases he is indicted for. He lacks the moral grounds and integrity to occupy such a national space which should be sacredly reserved for leaders who are men of honour.

“We hasten to remind us not to quickly forget the melodramatics that has been orchestrated by the present Senate; these includes how they mobilized themselves in embarrassingly large numbers to queue behind an individual that till the moment has not proven his innocence at the Code of Conduct Tribunal over the corruption charges hanging around his neck.

“The strange term ‘budget-padding’ also came into our national lexicon within the life span of the present NASS so far with the manner the budget 2016 was handled.

“And it is the same Senate that have brazenly utilized different crooked means of causing confusion to achieve the bid to shield themselves from scrutiny while tactically escaping the jaws of justice. It is the same attitude that is responsible for the several attempts to strip the people of their fundamental human right to expression via their yet-to-be discarded idea to shut down the social media.

“Oppressors and corrupt elements are never comfortable with transparency, public accountability and probity and that is what is fundamental about this unnecessary ‘confusion’.

“We must collectively demand that the Senate fulfils its duty as dictated by the constitution. We must look beyond the parochial lens of the so-called friction said to be existing within the different arms of government.

“We do not need to pander to obviously corrupt ways of the ruling class to guarantee that independence of each arm of government is not abused and for checks and balances in governance not be jeopardized.

“It is about our country, we dare say that, it is much more beyond the antics of the present occupiers of the corridors of power including President Muhammadu Buhari, his party, the APC and others.

“Let us take back Nigeria now, it is our country!”

Senate Rejects Nomination Of Magu As EFCC Chairman

EFCC, Senate, MaguThe Nigerian Senate has refused to grant confirmation to the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Explaining the reason behind the decision, the Senate said that security report available to it showed that Mr Magu is not fit to be chairman of the body.

In this regard, the lawmakers have sent back his nomination letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Addressing journalists at the National Assembly, Senate Spokesman, Aliyu Abdullahi said that based on security reports, the Senate cannot proceed to confirm the acting EFCC Chairman.

“Based on security reports available to the Senate, the Senate cannot proceed to confirm Mr Magu, consequently, the Senate rejects the nomination and returns the nomination to President Buhari,” he said.

Shortly after the Senate spokesman briefed journalists, the acting EFCC Chairman was seen hurriedly leaving the National Assembly complex.

With the Senate throwing back the nomination of the Mr Magu back to President Buhari, it is not clear at this point what the President’s action would be.

Nevertheless, the Senate President went ahead to welcome and swear in three lawmakers from Rivers state; Senators Magnus Abe, George Sekibo and Osinakachukwu Ideozu who emerged winners in a highly contested and violent senatorial election.

The body language from the Senate had suggested that the confirmation of Mr Magu is not as straightforward as it would seem as the confirmation was postponed twice.

In July 2016, the Senate had received the letter from the Presidency for the confirmation of the appointment of Magu.

The letter also sought the confirmation of Mr Ndasule Moses, Lawan Mamman, Galadanci Imam, and Adeleke Rafiu as members of the commission.

Mr Magu replaced former EFCC boss, Ibrahim Lamorde in Acting capacity in November 2015, after the former Chairman was removed by President Buhari.

He is an Assistant Commissioner of Police and was also one of the deputies of the former EFCC boss.

Buhari In UK For London Anti-Corruption Summit

Muhammadu Buhari in London Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has arrived in London for the Anti-Corruption Summit which will begin at the Lancaster house on Thursday.

President Buhari’s jet touched the Heathrow airport at 5:10pm, local time and he was received by the Minister of State Foreign Affairs, the National Security Adviser, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the Acting High Commissioner of Nigeria to the United Kingdom (UK).

In an interview with reporters on arrival in London, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mister Femi Adesina, said the fact that the President was invited to speak at the summit laid credence to President Buhari’s commitment to the fight against corruption.

Muhammadu-Buhari-in-London
President Muhammadu Buhari hopes to push for faster repatriation of stolen funds

President Buhari is attending the Summit amidst comments by the British Prime Minister, Mr David Cameron that described his nation as ‘fantastically corrupt’.

Mr Cameron was caught on camera telling Queen Elizabeth that UK would host some ‘fantastically corrupt’ countries on Thursday, mentioning Nigeria and Afghanistan as part of that category.

The Nigerian government had responded to that comment, saying it did not reflect the current administration’s efforts in the fight against corruption.

PDP Grants Ribadu, Others Waiver

nuhu-ribadu1The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has granted waiver to a former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nuhu Ribadu and two others to run as aspirants under the platform of the party in the October 11 governorship bye-election in Adamawa State.

Other persons granted waiver were a former military administrator of Lagos and Borno States, Buba Marwa and Markus Gundiri, the governorship candidate of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria in the 2011 election.

PDP spokesperson, Olisa Metuh, made the disclosure to journalists on Friday at the National Secretariat of the party in Abuja.

The three aspirants had earlier submitted their application for waiver to the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.

The NWC had also forwarded the requests to a sub committee under the leadership of the National Organising Secretary, Abubakar Mustapha.

The committee submitted its report to the NWC on Friday, recommending that the waiver should be granted.

With the development, the three aspirants will alongside eight others face a screening panel on Saturday.

The PDP is expected to name the panel members later on Friday.