Following his impressive performance in the fight against corruption, a group of anti-corruption groups in the country have called on the leadership of the Senate to expedite action on the confirmation of Ibrahim Magu as the substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
They said the confirmation would give the ongoing anti-corruption crusade of the present administration a boost.
The groups, in a communiqué issued in Abuja, on Sunday, at the end of their national conference on the role of the legislature in the fight against corruption, noted that since the Senate had since reconvened, screened and confirmed justices of the Supreme Court and Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) forwarded to it long after the submission of Magu’s name for confirmation as the EFCC’s chairman by President Muhammadu Buhari, there was need to expedite Magu’s confirmation process.
They expressed belief that Magu, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, met and exceeded the requirement and deserved confirmation as the substantive EFCC chairman without further delay.
The groups lamented that fighting corruption without security of tenure for the head of the anti-corruption agency had become the trend in the recent past in the country.
They described the situation as one of the major limitations to the fight against corruption.
“The guarantee of security of tenure of anti-corruption agencies’ officials is at the root of independence, effective functioning and freedom from undue influence of anti-corruption agencies as prescribed by article 6(2) of the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) of which Nigeria is a signatory.
“Anything short of such a guarantee renders the fight against corruption ineffectual, susceptible to political manipulation and compromises the independence of the anti-corruption agencies.
“While the EFCC has of late stepped up the fight against acts of corruption and abuse of public trust as exemplified in the tracking of those remotely and directly connected with the misapplication of monies meant to fight Boko Haram insurgency, confiscation of the properties suspected to have been acquired from proceeds of crime linked to politically exposed persons, as well as the investigation and prosecution of alleged owners, the lack of a substantive head with a secured tenure has been a major set back in all these efforts.
“This delay by the Senate sends a wrong signal of deliberate attempt by the Senate to frustrate the anti-corruption fight, or at best, exert political pressure on the EFCC and force it into some compromise with the Senate,” they said.