Court Asked To Remove Magu, As Group Wants Him Confirmed Substantive Efcc Chair
BEVERLY HILLS, January 16, (THEWILL) – Rights activist, Barr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has approached the Federal High Court in Lagos seeking an order to bar Ibrahim Magu from further functioning as the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
In the suit, the Lagos-based lawyer is also seeking an order stopping the Senate from reconsidering its refusal to confirm Magu as the substantive Chairman of the EFCC.
This is happening same day that the International Association for Advancement and Defence of Human Rights urged the Senate to confirm Magu as substantive EFCC Chairman.
President of the group, Johnson Bature, warned that Senate's rejection of Magu could undermine the anti-corruption fight of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
It maintained that the upper legislative chamber’s rejection of Magu when presented by President Buhari for confirmation could also erode the successes so far recorded by campaign against graft in the country.
Meanwhile, Adegboruwa argued that having been rejected by the Senate on December 15, 2016, it had become illegal for Magu to remain in charge of affairs at the EFCC.
He stated that the acting Chairman was violating Section 2 (3) of the EFCC Act by remaining in office after his rejection by the Senate.
The lawyer complained that despite being turned down by the Senate, Magu continued to parade himself as the EFCC boss and even met with representatives of the United States Embassy on January 6, 2017.
He is urging the court to restrain the Federal Government, the EFCC and all other authorities, from “recognising, treating or in any other manner dealing with Magu as the Chairman of the EFCC, either in acting or substantive capacity.”
Adegboruwa urged the court to declare Magu unfit and improper to head the EFCC, judging by “his conduct in office so far; his lifestyle and his arrogance to defy the decision of the Senate.”
“Magu is not a fit and proper person to function in office as chairman of EFCC,” he said.
Adegboruwa begged the court to not only order Magu to immediately vacate office but to also declare illegal, null and void all the criminal charges filed in by the EFCC against alleged looters since the day Magu was rejected by the Senate.
But while making a case for Magu’s confirmation, Bature said he had given bite to the anti-graft war, adding the recovery of looted funds and prosecution of corrupt people was enough grounds for Magu to be confirmed.
“For the first time after several years, somebody in the name of Mr Ibrahim Magu is fighting corruption and bringing corrupt people to their knees, recovering funds.
“We, just like so many Nigerians, believe that the acting EFCC chair has acquitted himself remarkably well on his job and therefore deserves support to carry on with the fight.
“We are disturbed by his non-confirmation by the Senate even when DSS allegations of corruption against him have not been investigated.
“People say, the fight against corruption shouldn`t be about Magu but a strong institution. Yes, we agree, but Magu has made the EFCC as an institution strong with his strides, and that`s why we are backing him.
“We urge President Buhari to re-present his name for confirmation and we appeal to the Senate to shun sentiments and confirm him when they get the president`s request,“ he said.
Bature wondered why the DSS had to wait till when Magu was facing the senate for confirmation before coming out with the grave allegations.
He recalled that the pioneer EFCC Chairman, Malam Nuhu Ribadu was disgraced out of office by some corrupt elements, urging the president to stay by Magu and re-present his name to the Senate.
The group’s president pledged the support of the rights body for the anti-corruption fight of the present administration, saying the menace of corruption was responsible for the country`s under-development.
“Corruption is responsible for almost all the problems the country is facing, for this reason; the fight against corruption deserves the support of everyone.
“We as a group are in support of the fight and we urge the president to sustain the momentum to free the country from the shackles of this menace,'' he said.