Updated: February 28, 2021
The decision to suspend the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu pending the conclusion of the investigation by a Presidential panel is a testimony to President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, that the swift response by the President shows that nobody is above the law in the Buhari administration.
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“We see the decision to invite Ibrahim Magu to appear before the panel headed by Justice Ayo Salami as yet another proof that there is no sacred cow as far as investigation into allegations of corrupt practices is concerned.
“President Buhari has demonstrated once again that nobody is indeed above the law as even his appointees, no matter how highly placed, can at any time be asked to respond to issues as they arise.
“This is proof that the President is a stickler for due process; he could have fired Magu, he has that prerogative, but because the acting EFCC chairman was accused of committing acts of infractions, he was afforded the due process of fair hearing before an administrative panel.
“We have all seen how the same process was followed in cases that involved former Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF) Babachir Lawal and the immediate past head of the civil service, Winifred Oyo-Ita”, it added.
The group noted that it was out of place for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to gloat over a decision that deserves praise.
“We have heard the gloating by PDP and some of its supporters online and offline, but the joke is really on them because it shows clearly that even the head of the anti-graft agency could be invited to provide answers to knotty issues, unlike what we had in the past.
“We do not know many Presidents would do that, or even see the need to do that. We recall that one-time Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi was not even given the opportunity to defend himself before a probe panel when sundry allegations were raised against him, before then President Goodluck Jonathan suspended him outrightly in 2014.
“We also invite Nigerians to remember how former Petroleum Resources Minister, Diezani Alison Madueke blatantly refused to appear before the National Assembly on several occasions without any consequences.
“It got so bad that the Senate, on at least one occasion, asked former President Jonathan to choose between the National Assembly or the minister, before she finally honoured the Senate committee invitation.
“Also, Magu is appearing before a panel headed by a former President of the Appeal Court who was unceremoniously eased out of office by a PDP government, without being given the opportunity to defend himself?
“So we believe PDP should sit this one out and see how the due process really works, even if it means investigating the head of an anti-graft agency”.
BMO also reassured Nigerians that President Buhari’s war against corruption is still on course.