OBINNA EZUGWU

The Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) has said acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu is a victim of power play in the presidency.

Magu was earlier on Monday, arrested by a combined team of Department of State Services (DSS) operatives and officers from the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) and taken before a panel for interrogation over corruption allegations.

PACAC which stated its position in a statement signed by Femi Odekunle, a member of its committee accused the Attorney General of the federation, Abubakar Malami of taking advantage of his closeness to the president to lead an onslaught against Magu.

Malami had last week, accused Magu of committing financial infractions.

“This is a preliminary reaction of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) to the alleged ‘arrest’ of Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),” the statement said.

“The real information reaching us is that he was only invited to appear before a Panel set up not long ago concerning some alleged memo by Malami, Attorney General and Minister of justice, regarding some alleged malfeasance by Magu, along with nominations for his replacement.

“The alleged originating Malami memo, up to the current “arrest“ seems an outcome of power-play by power blocs in the corridors of power in which Malami appears to be an arrow-head or major agent of a power bloc that is not really interested in, or in support of, Buhari’s anti-corruption fight.

“One can recall the earlier non-confirmation experience of Magu by the 8th Assembly, orchestrated by a power bloc and supported by the DSS ‘Security’ reports. One can also note the non-resubmission of Magu for confirmation since May, 2019 despite the apparent willingness of the 9th Assembly to consider it this time around.

“Again, we cannot forget Malami’s demand of certain high profile case files from Magu which the latter has been resisting. It may not be contestable that Malami has been exploiting his alleged loyalty and closeness to the President for his personal/power bloc agenda. For, to the best of PACAC’s knowledge and observations, Malami has not manifested any genuine commitment to the anti-corruption fight.”

The committee enjoined President Muhammadu Buhari to wake up to what it called “ongoing shenanigans of power players that are working from the inside against his anti-corruption fight”, while expressing confidence in the “experience and dexterity” of Ibrahim Gambari, chief of staff to the president, and the “demonstrated integrity of retired Justice Salami would carry the day for thoroughness, fairness and justice in the interest of the anti-corruption fight”.