Magu: How not to be EFCC boss
Sir: There was a time when the suspended Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, was a ‘Magun’ to Nigerian looters. That’s a thunderbolt. Then, at the mention of his name, politicians who had looted our commonwealth and stashed it in their coffers would be disturbed. He was tough and audacious. That was the period looters did drop the billions of naira they had stolen in abandoned buildings. The fear of Magu! He and his boys, ‘‘Magu Boys,’’ were seen in almost all the parts of the country, breaking looters’ coffers and recovering stolen funds. They seized houses, expensive cars and golds, corrupt politicians had bought with our commonwealth.
Many Nigerians believed he was a Messiah, who had come to aid Mr President in his fight against corruption which was one of his campaign promises. I recall when the Saraki-led Senate didn’t want to assent his appointment. Some of us raised our eyebrows and bashed the Senate. We believed they had a skeleton in their cupboards, so, they wanted to frustrate him so that he would sheathe his anti-corruption’s sword. Saraki and his loyalists in the house, especially, were mainly seen as the orchestrators of his rejection. Meanwhile, they were others too, who weren’t Saraki’s loyalists and didn’t want him. Some of them were even good friends of Mr. President.
However, the recent allegations against him which led to his ouster pointed at some of the reasons why the 8th Senate didn’t want to assent his appointment. Also, it showed that he is morally far from what he was preaching. Aside from the fact that the office he held requires that its holder should be tough and unforgiving to looters as he had exhibited, it also requires transparency, which is even the most pertinent. You mustn’t allow the recovered funds to change your direction and fault your anti-corruption war.
Instead, he was alleged to have diverted billions of naira from the recovered funds to his account and sold out some of the seized property to his cronies. These are just two among many of the allegations against him. The Magu we surmised was Messiah unknown to us was a Judas. The funds he showed us that he had recovered, he would still go ahead to siphon billions of it in his account. He didn’t spare some of the seized items too. How can a whole EFCC boss be looting the looted funds he recovered. This isn’t how to be EFCC boss!
Can we say his earlier ‘gra-gra’ was to distract us from probing his cupboard? Thank God, those he had once afflicted with his imbalance anti-corruption fight were parts of the forces that ousted him from office and stripped him off of the power he was not justly wielding. What he exemplified in office was not how to be EFCC boss. Anyway, the hunter has been hunted.
Aremu Lukman Umor wrote from Lagos.
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