The Executive Chairman of the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL), Mr Debo Adeniran, has described the rejection of Mr Ibrahim Magu for the second time as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), as a demoralizing.
According to him, the rejection is one which can only serve the interest of pro-corruption elements who are hell-bent on killing the country’s anti-corruption drive.
This position was made known in a statement signed by the group’s Media Coordinator, Wale Salami.
Magu, who was screened by the Senate on Tuesday was rejected based on a DSS report that was submitted on Monday, which claimed that the nominee for the EFCC Chairman failed an integrity test and would eventually constitute a liability to the commission.
In a further reaction, Mr Adeniran said: “It is rather unfortunate that Magu who has performed so marvelously well within the very short period he has been acting as Chairman of EFCC had to be given this ‘Ides of March’ treatment by a pack of people who are apparently incurably corrupt.
“It is a tragedy that these elements have been able to use the country’s hallowed Chambers to frustrate the appointment of a man who has made more landmark achievements in the anti-corruption drive than even than his predecessors in offices. They have just practically used the Legislative Arm and it’s sanctity in the bid to shield themselves from judicial consequences of the corrupt ways!.
“Like we said when the dilly-dallying and acrobatics over Magu’s confirmation began, we had said the Senate would brazenly utilize different crooked means of causing confusion to achieve the bid to shield themselves from scrutiny because most of them are lords of corruption.
“Majority of the Senators today lack more integrity than many they are persecuting today over their perverted kind of integrity.
“The man’s credentials are sparkling enough and his achievements speaks for him; he has dared to tread ‘where eagles dare’, touching the high and mighty, recovering loots of humongous sums, arresting and prosecuting corrupt elements in large numbers in the anti-graft drive since he started acting as EFCC Chairman in 2015.
“The greater consequence of all these is the impact of the Senate’s illogical decision, in that it will impact negatively on the anti-corruption drive generally beyond how demoralizing it may be for Magu.
“And again, whoever is now nominated after Magu, will also be confronted with this situation which will certainly discourage incorrigible men of honour, integrity and capacity from accepting to play the patriotic role of serving as EFCC Chairman.
“With this attitude of the Senate, it may take only a man who is ready to ‘play ball’ a little with the soiled hands in the Chambers to get confirmed as the Chairman of the EFCC.”
Questioning the timing of the DSS report and the channeling, Adeniran said: “We remain curious about what actually is the lawfully dealing between the DSS and the Senate such that security reports seem to always be submitted directly to the Senate only on the eve of the screening/confirmation of Magu?
“We ask, where should be the first point of call if the DSS completes a report on a security situation, is it the Presidency, the Senate or the Judiciary? is there a reason why today’s DSS report suddenly emerged while the Magu’s screening was ongoing,” he questioned.