The refusal to confirm Ibrahim Magu as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) was a rancorous power-play involving the Nigerian Senate, the State Security Service and the Presidency.
At a hurriedly arranged press conference, the spokesperson for the Senate, Abdullahi Sabi, announced that Mr. Magu’s nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari as EFCC chairman had been rejected. He cited “security report”, and said the president would be informed of the decision.
The Senate refusal belongs to the region of high-wire intrigues. The principal charge against Magu was the allegation that the chief corruption fighter himself is alleged to be tainted himself.
If there is any aspect of our national life requiring urgent surgical operation that endeared President Muhammadu Buhari's candidature to millions of Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora prior to the 2015 general election and which contributed in no small measure to his being voted into office, it was the peoples alignment with his anti corruption posture and belief in his ability to arrest the hemorrhaging of the country by corruption.
Ever since the appointment of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as the acting EFCC chairman, he has left no one in doubt about his commitment and sense of purpose in discharging his responsibility by frontally going after corruption in line with the provisions of the constitutions, not minding whose ox is gored and this has won him admiration and commendation both at home and abroad and gained political capital for the President Buhari administration.
In repositioning the EFCC to act responsibly and conscientiously on its mandate, it was not lost on the government, Nigerians and even Mr. Magu, that when you fight corruption, it fights back on various fronts using every arsenal at its disposal. This has been the lot of the anti corruption war which has been labelled as witch hunt, persecution, vendetta, etc just to distract, but to the glory of God, all these blackmail, mudslinging and intimidatory tactics have failed as the war has remained on course for the collective good of Nigerians.
In recognizing the fact that the anti corruption war will not be a tea party, Nigerians have queued behind the government and the EFCC in recognition of the fact that the reward for hard work, is more work, by demanding for the confirmation of Mr. Magu as EFCC chairman to enable him appreciate the goodwill of Nigerians for the commendable performance of the organization under his stewardship of which we have demanded more.
Unfortunately, a spanner has been thrown into the wheel of progress of the anti corruption war of President Buhari's administration by the rejection of Mr. Magu as EFCC chairman by the Senate on grounds of alledged security report.
The sad development from the Senate whose action in this regard is very unrepresentative of the wish and aspirations of Nigerians has further thrown up the debate about the seriousness of the Nigerian state to tame the cankerworm of corruption which has made us the object of international ridicule and undermined our peace, progress and development.
The non confirmation of Mr. Ibrahim Magu by the Senate has further called to question the sense of responsibility and sensitivity of national institutions and agencies to our collective interest.
Thus is it becomes imperative for us as a people desirous of our dear country taking its rightful place in the comity of nations, to ask some salient questions thrown up by this issue and they are:
Doesn't the President get security clearance before presenting a nominee for Senate screening and clearance?
Didn't Mr. Magu go through security clearance before being presented to the Senate for confirmation?
If Mr. Magu did, then how come the Senate based its rejection on an indicting security report?
If Magu didn't, then we need to know who compromised his office to assault national sensibilities?
Is the rejection of Mr. Magu by the Senate based on security report not an indictment of the executive arm of government?
To which arm of government does the security agencies belong and to whom do they report directly?
By this development in the Senate, is it that we have two different security reports on Mr. Magu?
If the answer to question 8 above is in the affirmative, does it not amount to gross misconduct by the office concerned?
Or is it that the security report on which the Senate based its rejection of Mr. Magu, was the same one submitted to the Presidency, but was ignored for reasons that we must demand an explanation?
Can the Senate committee on corruption and other related matters not be accused of dereliction of duty in the discharge of it's oversight functions by this revelation?
The answers to all the above questions can only be provided by the executive via Mr. President summoning the Director General of the DSS to explain the role of his agency in this whole drama which has the tendency to cast doubt on and undermine the government's anti corruption war in which the majority of Nigerians have keyed into.
Nigerians, the ball is in your court!