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Group faults Ayo Salami panel’s recommendation on EFCC headship

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A frontline good governance and peace advocacy group, Global Forum for Accountability and Transparency, has described the recommendation of the Justice Ayo Salami-led panel that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) should henceforth be headed by the non-police officer as a ploy to weaken the Commission.

Convener of the group, Joseph Ambakederimo, in a statement, yesterday, stated that for the headship of the EFCC to be a nonpolice officer “is to finally ground the EFCC a death kneel and that this is counter-productive to the anti-corruption fight.”

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He noted that the EFCC is a law enforcement agency hence, for anyone to have recommended the headship to be a non-police officer is deeply troubling.

He maintained that the recommendation was not part of the terms of reference of the panel, adding that the anti-graft agency “cannot carry out its functions effectively without the backing of the police.”

The group also expressed deep concern that the recommendation as pushed by this emerging cabal to the President was not foolproof after all, insisting that “what we need for the EFCC is an outstanding police officer that knows his or her onion and would be desirous to leave a lasting legacy for future generations to imbibe his or her footprints”.

“It is no surprise that the submission of the Hon. Justice Salami report on the investigation of the former Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, to President Muhammad Buhari, would draw flacks from many quarters due largely to the premeditated recommendations contained in the final report.

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“Looking back to the appointment process and the shenanigans that greeted the nomination of Ibrahim Magu to the headship of the anti-graft agency would leave no one in doubt that certain forces were at play and working surreptitiously to undermine the foremost anti-graft agency in the country.

“Ibrahim Magu is the reason the commission has floundered rudderless for the past five years. Some have alleged that Magu does not have the requisite capability to steer that agency partly because he has never held a position or even head a unit in the Police Force, talk less of a gigantic establishment that is saddled with the responsibility to tackle the high and mighty in the society.

“This is further strengthened when viewed side by side with the report that emanated from the Department of State Services (DSS) then, which many believed touched on the competency of Ibrahim Magu.

“The DSS report was explicit enough to have stopped the Magu emergence in the first place, describing his confirmation as a liability if the FGN goes ahead but the forces and cabal who are bent on weakening the anti-graft agency for personal gains went full throttle to work behind the scene to misdirected the hand of the President to continue to keep Magu in office,” the statement stated, among others.

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