Mr. Ibrahim Magu, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has dedicated the 2016 Person of the Year Award bestowed on him by the Leadership Newspapers, to Nigerians just as he faces legitimacy crisis.
Magu who has been rejected twice for the job of the anti-graft agency boss by the Senate because of unfavourable DSS report, called for more support in ridding Nigeria of financial crimes.
“I want to dedicate this award to all Nigerians who have supported us in the fight against corruption,” he said.
Magu was among eminent Nigerians, who were on March 17, 2017 recognised for their achievements in various fields, including business, banking, aviation, leadership, music and education.
The award was bestowed on him for “doing one of the nation’s most challenging jobs in your dogged fight against corruption, working without a letter of confirmation in that acting capacity for over one year”.
Indeed, the award and recognition of this dogged commitment to the fight against corruption, comes a few days after members of the Nigerian Senate on March 15, 2017 chose to overlook the vigour with which the anti-graft czar has led the anti-corruption vision of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
An elated Magu, who noted that he received the award because “the process of selection was transparent and the organisers have high integrity”, has been invited by two leading anti-corruption organizations.
They are Transparency International and Global Witness to speak at an international conference on money laundering and assets recovery on March 21, 2017 in London.
He would be speaking on the topic, “Give Us Our Money Back – Nigeria’s Fight Against Corruption: A Critical Conversation”.
“The commitment of the leadership of this country in fighting corruption is not in doubt, and so I call on everybody to join us in fighting corruption,” he added.
The event, which held at the International Conference Centre, ICC, Abuja, had as its theme, “The Rice Economy”.
The Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, who delivered the keynote speech on the theme, noted that Nigerian government aims at making the country a major producer of rice, like India and China.
“By the time Nigeria achieves self sufficiency in its rice production, it will mean the saving of nearly $7 million a day from our foreign reserves, it will mean a happier society,” Ogbeh said.
Meanwhile, the Senate is not done yet as far as Magu’s confirmation is concerned and its is fighting back to further drive home that Magu was not employable.
Sen. Dino Melaye, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory (FCT), and Senator representing Kogi West, has issued a statement on the illegality of continued recognition of Magu as EFCC’s boss.
Melaye joined the debate in the media about whether Magu can continue to act as EFCC boss in spite of his failure to be confirmed by the Senate or if the President can re-nominate him.
Melaye said in a statement that there is a provision of the Senate rules which would not allow members consider Magu for the same position again.
Citing Order 131 of the Senate Rules, Melaye said after the rejection of Magu’s nomination, his candidacy is considered lapse and therefore advised the President to consider a fresh nominee who is qualified, in terms of experience, integrity, knowledge and temperament to lead the anti-graft agency.
Order 131 of the Senate Rules states that “nominations neither confirmed nor rejected during the session or within 21 working days in the case of Ministerial nominees shall be returned by the clerk to the National Assembly to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and shall not again be made to the Senate by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
The Senator who insisted that Magu did not impress anybody including those Senators who would have been sympathetic to his cause during the confirmation hearing in the Senate urged President Buhari to look for a replacement and avoid actions that may result in violation of the laws of the land.
“Those suggesting to the President that after failing to scale the confirmation process twice, the President should leave Magu to be acting are only recommending violation of the law, disrespect for due process and perpetration of illegality. All these will only undermine democracy and constitutionalism in our country.