Groups Asks Senate To Confirm Magu As EFCC Chairman
Foremost anti-corruption groups in Nigeria have asked the Senate to confirm EFCC Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu as substantive head. According to the activists, this is to give more credence to the ongoing war against corruption.
The groups made the call in a communique after the National Conference on the Role of the Legislature in the Fight Against Corruption. The event was organised by the National Assembly and the Presidency.
They noted that the National Assembly went on recess shortly after the presidency sent Mr. Magu’s name to it. Since it reconvened, it had screened and confirmed Judges of Supreme Court and NDDC Board while Magu waits.
“Having reconvened from recess almost two months ago, the group therefore called on the Senate to treat Mr. Magu’s confirmation as substantive executive chairman of the EFCC as a matter of top priority and of urgent national interest.”
Magu Right Man For The Job
In addition, the groups rated Mr. Magu, as capable for the office due to his experience as a Deputy Commissioner of police.
“Section 2 of the EFCC Act says ‘there shall be a chairman who shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the commission, and who shall not be below the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of police. He is to be saddled with the responsibility of running the anti-crime commission.”
Furthermore, the communiqué reads that Magu’s confirmation will give the anti-corruption fight the boost it needs to end the culture of impunity and systemic corruption in Nigeria.
Security of Tenure
Similarly, the group contended that it is a globally recognized principle for the leadership of anti-corruption agencies to have security of tenure. This, they added will guarantee the independence of the agencies.
“The guarantee of security of tenure is at the root of the independence, effective functioning and freedom from undue influence. This is prescribed by article 6(2) of the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) of which Nigeria is a signatory.
“Anything short of such a guarantee renders the fight against corruption ineffectual. Fighting corruption without the basic guarantee has become the trend in the recent past in Nigeria. It is one of the major limitations of the corruption fight and the Senate should reverse this trend.”
Delay, A Wrong Signal
Consequently, the group said the senate delay on this issue sends a wrong signal. It might also be a deliberate attempt to frustrate the anti-corruption fight. In addition, the Senate may want to exert political pressure on the EFCC and force it into some compromise.
Meanwhile, the group also called on President Buhari to use the ongoing second review mechanism of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) to send a strong message to the international community that Nigeria is genuinely committed to the fight against corruption.
The signees for the communique are Debo Adeniran of Coalition Againts Corrupt Leaders(CACOL); Lanre Suraju –Civil Society Network Against Corruption(CSNAC) and Adetokunbo Mumuni – Social-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP); David Ugolor – Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ).
Others include, Okey Nwanguma – Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN); Faith Nwadishi – Publish What You Pay Nigeria (PWYP); and Oluajo Babatunde – Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA).