The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is one of the most strategic agencies available to the federal government as it confronts corrupt tendencies in the country. Its effectiveness or otherwise can make or mar the efforts to rid the country of that social malaise that
has dogged the nation’s growth and development – corruption. It will only perform this onerous duty more effectively if it was not unduly shackled as seems the case now where almost after one year of being in office, the commission has remained without a substantive leader who will drive the process and strengthen it effectively to go after the perceived enemies of progress.
It is also believed that the capacity of such an important agency can also be determined by the character of who is at the helm of affairs.
The current boss of the anti-graft agency, Mr Ibrahim Magu, is considered to be a thorough bred crime fighter. At this time last year when he was appointed to oversee the affairs of the commission, he had already mastered the intricacies of running such an agency from which much is expected. He was one of the early officers recruited by the pioneer anti- graft czar, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. Between then and now, he had served as head of the Economic Governance Unit (EGU) of the EFCC. In that capacity, he spearheaded investigations into the activities of some highly exposed political figures who were alleged to have corruptly enriched themselves while in office.
For a man committed to fighting crime and malfeasance, it is not a surprise that sooner than later, he will have to come in direct confrontation with the cohorts of the alleged high society figures who
form part of the clientele of the agency. During his tenure as Head of the Governance Unit of the EFCC, Magu developed a reputation as a no-nonsense anti-corruption investigator of the high and mighty. He
was soon to taste what it means to step on sensitive toes. That actually happened in August 2008 when he was accused of illegally keeping case files of top politicians being investigated by the commission. After days of detention with nothing incriminating found against him, he was re-deployed to the police. As if that was not enough, he was to be suspended from the police altogether in a development many saw as corruption fighting its nemesis. He survived such contrived vicissitude, emerged stronger and was elevated to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police. In his career growth path, he was exposed to the best international police training had to offer that put him in good stead to be appointed as a member of the investigative committee convened by National Security Adviser (NSA), Babagana Monguno, on the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari to probe the procurement of arms in the Armed Forces from 2007 till date.
With such a record, we are surprised that it is taking such a long time for him to be recommended for confirmation as a substantive head of the office which, in our opinion, he richly deserves. The delay may not be unconnected with a groundswell of opposition against him by certain forces in the Presidency and even elsewhere outside the Presidency which President Muhammadu Buhari himself may not be aware of especially by those whose attempt to turn the agency into a tool of other machinations he is stoutly resisting.
In our considered opinion, the best interest of the anti-corruption effort will be served when someone who has what it takes to call a spade by no other name is encouraged to do the work for which he is trained and has the aptitude. At the risk of being misunderstood, Magu, from our disinterested position, is one man who has been well primed for the task