The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the probe of some of his top appointees following allegations of corruption.
The President’s Spokesperson, Mr Garba Shehu announced this in a statement on Sunday.
“The attention of the Presidency has been drawn to a number of reports in the media, in which various accusations of corruption have been levelled against some top officials in the administration.
“In that regard, President Buhari has instructed the Attorney General of the Federation to investigate the involvement of any top government officials accused of any wrong-doing.
“If any of them are liable they will not escape prosecution,” the statement reads.
Although the statement does not specify the identities of those marked for probe, the move might not be unconnected to allegations of corruption against the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Babachir Lawal.
The Senate on Wednesday, December 14, demanded the resignation of the SGF
over his alleged involvement in a 223-million-naira contract meant for the humanitarian crisis management in the north east.
The Senate also refused to grant confirmation to the nomination of Ibrahim Magu as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) saying ‘security report’ available to it showed that Mr Magu is not fit to be chairman of the body.
In this regard, the lawmakers sent back his nomination letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Although the SGF has denied the allegations against him, his comments have not gone down well with the Senate, who have expressed displeasure at his choice of words.
Mr Magu is yet to react to his non-confirmation by the Senate but a number of civil society organisations have condemned the decision.
The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, described the Senate’s non-confirmation of Mr. Ibrahim Magu based on what was described as a ‘security report’ from the Department of State Services (DSS) as appalling and ridiculous.
In a statement by its Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran, the group believes that the Senate knows Magu’s salts and the fact that he is worth it and are only trying to stop him from leading the anti-corruption fight.
CACOL stated: “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?”
The Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability (SERAP), has also dragged the Nigerian Senate before the United Nations over its rejection of Ibrahim Magu as substantive chairman of the EFCC.
SERAP petitioned the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, Michel Forst, over alleged intimidation, harassment and unfair treatment of Mr Magu by the Senate in collaboration with other agencies of government.
According to the group, the upper house used what it describes as “a purported security report it knew, or ought to know is baseless and politically motivated” to reject Mr Magu’s confirmation as substantive EFCC Chairman.