A Coalition of civil society groups, under the aegis of Global Centre for Conscious Living Against Corruption, has demanded the immediate removal of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.
The protesters, including men and women in T-shirts and fez caps bearing various inscriptions in support of the anti-corruption war, said they were supporters of the anti-graft war but were opposed to Magu’s style of prosecuting the war.
They made their position known in Abuja during the protest on Friday.
They also carried placards denouncing Magu and his activities at the commission, accusing him of adopting a Gestapo style, playing to the gallery and breaching the fundamental rights of other Nigerians.
The Director-General of the group, Dr. Gabriel Nwambu, who addressed the rally, said corruption had become a menace that had retarded growth and development in Nigeria and must be fought with all sense of seriousness, noting that the groups were of the view that corruption must be fought with sincerity and honesty if Nigeria must win the battle.
The full text of the press statement:
GLOBAL CENTRE FOR CONSCIOUS LIVING AGAINST CORRUPTION
WORLD PRSS CONFERENCE ON THE 2ND YEAR ANNIVERSARY
OF PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI’S ADMINISTRATION: AN
APRAISAL OF THE WAR AGAINST CORRUPTION
Gentlemen of the Press,
On behalf of over 130 Non-Governmental Organizations/Civil Society Organization I address you this morning to demonstrate our support and commitment to the War Against Corruption by the Buhari administration in order to minimize the high level of dishonesty among Nigerian citizens for the growth and development of this country.
As organizations who undertake researches both in Nigeria and abroad as to the way and manner in which the fight against corruption is being conducted in Nigeria, we deem it fit to address the press to declare our support and appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for saving Nigeria from losing trillions of dollars and other foreign currencies by some unscrupulous elements through corrupt practices.
It is on record that many powerful elements in the country who were hitherto untouchable in this country are now being brought to book on charges against corruption. This is an indication of the genuine and sincere intentions of President Muhammadu Buhari in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
The level of support by international communities to the present administration’s effort to deal with high profile corrupt cases by several Nigerians in various countries of the world is also an indicator of Buhari administration’s readiness to eradicate or at least reduce to the barest minimum cases of corruption in Nigeria.
It is the belief of this civil society organizations that only sincere, honest and genuine war against corruption can save Nigeria from economic quagmire. It is therefore on this basis that the conglomeration of the NGOs unanimously agreed to note as follows:
Corruption, no doubt is a menace that has retarded the growth and development of Nigeria, hence, it must be fought with all sense of vigour and seriousness it deserves. This war against corruption we support hundred per cent.
Ironically, the mode of operation of the EFCC, the several cases of gross violation of rights of citizens, the fact that EFCC speaks too soon to the extent of trying suspects on the pages of newspapers is rather alarming and is embarrassing Nigeria in the league of nations. This explains why the EFCC has been losing most of the high profile cases in the courts of law.
Rather than operate in a covert manner, the EFCC expose vital documents that are meant to be kept as confidential office issue thereby violating the code of conduct and oath of secrecy as contained in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This also contradicts the entire essence of the act establishing the commission.
It is on record that several suspects were tried and convicted on the pages of newspapers, blogs and website of various social media platforms, only for these innocent people to be cleared by courts of competent jurisdiction. It is worthy of note here that the EFCC is collaborating with some social media platform particularly Sahara Reporters whom we have investigated and found working with some clinedestined political big-wigs in Nigeria and the EFCC itself to mutilate the image and integrity of some highly placed Nigerians e.g. the publications against the Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris on various corrupt allegations, Senator Dino Melaye on certificate scandal, Governor AbdulazizYari of Zamfara State on the purported building of $3 million hotel in Lagos, to mention but a few of malicious and unfounded allegations.
Again, within just 96 hours, EFCC lost 5 high profile cases namely Justice AdemolaAjakume, Elder GodsdayOrubebe, the former D.G. NIMASA (at the Court of Appeal), Sen. AbdulazeezMurtalaNyako and MurtalaAdamuJangebe of Zamfara State UBEC among many other cases.
In view of the foregoing, it becomes evidently clear that Mr. Ibrahim Magu has grossly violated the fundamental rights of many Nigerian citizens destroying their images and integrity which is against the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In the same vein, he has violated the code of conduct of public service and consequently the oath of secrecy.
Mr. Magu also turned President Muhammadu Buhari’s genuine fight against corruption in Nigeria into a laughing stock before the league of nations. Magu’s style of trying suspects on the pages of newspapers and inability to secure conviction at the courts of competent jurisdiction are serious threats to the efforts, commitment and determination to reduce corruption to the barest minimum by the Buhari administration.
For the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari is a respecter of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and in consideration of the DSS report against Magu and consequent non-confirmation of Mr. Magu by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu’s continuous stay parading himself as the Acting Chairman for over the mandatory 90 days is a clear violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Magu is therefore now operating another Constitution within the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which calls for redress.
In the interest of peace and respect of the tenets of modern democracy hinged on the rule of law, these civil society organizations and indeed many Nigerians who support President Buhari’s fight against corruption are hereby as matter of urgency, request the authorities concerned to immediately remove Mr. Ibrahim Magu as the Acting Chairman of EFCC and replace him with a more competent and committed Nigerian citizen for the realization of the present administration’s goal in fighting corruption.
Finally, we congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari for the wonderful achievements so far in the last two years of his administration. We also wish to extend our esteemed regards to the President and pray for his speedy recovery, as we collaborate on the fight against corruption to take Nigeria to the Promised Land.
Thank you and God bless.
Dr. Gabriel Nwambu,