Buhari, Magu and the new EFCC
SIR: President Muhammadu Buhari’s well-known no-nonsense stance on corruption and the appointment of Ibrahim Mustafa Magu as the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has signaled the start of the much-expected change in the Commission as well as a new beginning in the war against corruption in Nigeria. Some observers are of the view that Magu is very lucky, because President Buhari will always be there for him, but for Magu to truly portray the EFCC in a new light, he must do some big thinking.
The new EFCC should explore the multilateral technical co-operation on corruption to develop mechanism that will help Nigeria have a system that discourages outright stealing of public fund, and develop an anti-corruption war that relies on forensic evidence, well-trained personnel and free of unnecessary controversies.
Magu should take the EFCC to a new level EFCC as an institution responsible for fighting the war against corruption should remodel its strategies for prosecuting accused persons. Situations such as slamming 120 count charges on a person accused of being corrupt while in public office, without being able to establish any of these, should be replaced with a fact-based process of prosecution, where the Commission gets its solid facts before charging accused to court.
The core of the new EFCC should be centered on restoring social order especially to governance; and promoting advocacy and capacity building among genuine whistleblowers. In short, Nigeria’s anti-corruption war should not only be limited to celebrated arrests.
Corruption is not only peculiar to Nigeria, it is a global phenomenon. However, anti-corruption war in Nigeria is like a gun war being fought with bows and arrows, it is a war that can turn its fighters into victims and those being fought into heroes, it is a war that both sides manipulate to gain personal and political points, it is a ‘world’ of controversies, politics, extensive debates and high public expectations. Nigerians have no second thought on President Muhammadu Buhari’s ability to fight corruption; this is the best stimulant Mr. Ibrahim Magu needs.
• Zayyad Muhammad
Jimeta, Adamawa State,
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