Ibrahim Magu

  • Suspension of EFCC Boss-Nigeria is soaked in Corruption-Prof. Olagoke

    Prof 1The suspension of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, his questioning and probe of the activities of the commission from 2015 till date has cast dark clouds on the anti-corruption crusade in Nigeria. However, a cross section of Nigerians are of the opinion that this has exposed the worrisome state of affairs among the leadership. Interestingly, the panel’s roles are not stated in the constitution, even as the insinuation is that it has been five years of chasing shadows. In this interview, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. SabitU Olagoke says that the country is soaked in corruption. Excerpts :

    The presidential panel on corruption is now saddled with the responsibility of looking into the activities of the suspended Chairman of the EFCC and the commission from 2015 till date. What is your reaction ?

    Consider the present state of institutional indiscipline and impunity on the issue of sins and crimes in all sectors and spheres of life.

    The environment is fraught with rent-seeking, hypocrisy, nepotism, Nigeria loss of identity(lack of patriotism) and kleptocracy where corruption is deeply ingrained in in our collective psyche through institutional indiscipline, impunity, blackmail and intimidation. This land is soaked with corruption, transgression, sins and crimes. Hence, there is a dire need for an enabling act as an antidote. Section(i) of the EFCC Act(2004) limits the appointment of the EFCC Chairman to ; ‘’Serving or retired member of any of the government security or law enforcement agency no t below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police or equivalent.’’

    The law was adjusted to make the EFCC answerable to the Attorney Genetral of the Federation, that should be more of probe, rather than monitoring the looted assets auctioning process profile.

    One expects the agency(EFCC) to be answerable to the Presidency where the Presidential Advisory Committee(PAC) should be doing the monitoring of the process of the looted assets recovery and disposal system through due process.

    This would have made the President to have first hand information and monitoring of the process through direct and timely briefing.

    When will a civilian boss emerge with law background and antecedent of integrity with clean records and relevant experience ?

    The Senate refused to confirm Magu’s appointment twice, based on security reports that declared him as a security risk or ‘danger’ to the anti-corruption war.

    The present moral incompetence charges justify his detractors’ claim.

    The anti-corruption agency has the antecedent of record of being used by the Presidency to witch hunt the opposition or perceived enemies of the powers that be. With this reduced status to a moral blackmail, the agency with its anti-corruption crusade, the whole process will by implication become questionable through doubtful integrity and credibility.

    One expects that lessons ought to have been learnt with full determination of purpose to identify with the charge mantra of the government that appointed Magu as the acting chairman. However, for lack of autonomy the political wind could have beclouded Magu’s sense of professionalism an objectivity.

    The war against corruption ought to have been worn out for the structure and architectural defects as well as attitudinal challenge of officers and the society including, governance, the battle process is always fraught with fictional resistances. All anti-corruption agencies need to be built upon clearly spelt out premises, while the monitor of the terms of references and training that dwell on :

    1. Emphatic policy analysis and implementation process.
    2. Monitoring mechanism and coordination structure.
    3. Sociological consideration for corruption tendency. For example, past records of Timocracy and Kleptocracy at any given opportunity to serve at any level of operation
    4. Sources and environment that enable corrupt practices.
    5. Key trends in the evolution of sharp and corrupt practices.

     Process flow analysis of checking leakages based on the concept of prevention is better than cure, with the regulation mechanism in place such as :

    1. Expenditure controls.
    2. Audit systems and monitoring.
    3. Assessment and evaluation framework.

    All these must be the orientation of all officers of the EFCC and in all Ministries, Departments and Agencies and government functionaries including parastatals, Executive, Judiciary and Legislature with emphasis on on the need of transparency and accountability probity and auditing that corruption is nipped in the bud before it become full blown. To this end the following must be in place

    • Autonomy of the agency is required to be immune from undue political influence. The independence of the anti-corruption agency must be guarded in law to protect its credibility and objectivity for maximum efficiency to produce deterrents .
    • Periodical workshop on best attitudinal attainment for anti-graft officials to be reliable and dependable without disappointing people’s trust is sacrosanct.
    • This must be driven through adequate training, capacity building, adequate resources, professionalism and rigorous ability to prosecute offenders.
    • For effectiveness, the following must be given credence for enhancement :
    • Conceptually grounded system analysis of corruption with basic consideration for :
    • Level and dignity of labor.
    • Location and characteristic attitude of the people in the environment.
    • Magnitude of corruption a the strategy level to be able to restrategize.
    • Keen focus on the drivers and enablers of corruption.
    • Ensure that legal, societal and normal norms are fully aligned within the framework that enable operators to full fight the cabals, cartels and the yahoo yahoo boys and girls on quick money making syndrome.
    • Above all, checks to regulate living not above our means deserve a wider and effective mechanism that would enable the anti-corruption commission and the society at large to naturally identify with the objectives and goals of the anti corruption agencies.
    • Character and judgement are crucial and more important than professional background for the position of chairmanship of the EFCC, hence, the need to try a civilian pedigree in experience, education and impeccable character with a clean state of past records.