There was a time when the suspended chairman of the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, was a ‘Magun’ to
Nigerian looters and scammers. That’s a thunderbolt. Then, at the
mention of his name, politicians who had looted our commonwealth and
stashed it in their coffers would be disturbed. He was tough and
audacious. That was the period looters did drop the billions of naira
they had stolen in abandoned buildings. The fear of Magu!
He and his boys, ‘Magu Boys’, were seen in almost all the parts of the
country, breaking looters’ coffers and recovering stolen funds. They
seized houses, expensive cars, and golds, corrupt politicians had bought
with our commonwealth. Many Nigerians believed he was a Messiah, who had
come to aid Mr. President in his fight against corruption which was one
of his campaign promises.
I recall when the Saraki-led Senate didn’t want to assent his
appointment. Some of us raised our eyebrows and bashed the senate. We
believed they had a skeleton in their cupboards, so, they wanted to
frustrate him so that he would sheathe his anti-corruption sword. Saraki
and his loyalists in the house, especially, were mainly seen as the
orchestrators of his rejection. Meanwhile, they were others too, who
weren’t Saraki’s loyalists and didn’t want him. Some of them were even
good friends of Mr. President.
However, the recent allegations against him which led to his ouster
pointed at some of the reasons why the 8th senate didn’t want to assent
his appointment. Also, it showed that he is morally far from what he was
preaching. Aside from the fact that the office he held requires that its
holder should be tough and unforgiving to looters as he had exhibited,
it also requires transparency, which is even the most pertinent. You
mustn’t allow the recovered funds to change your direction and fault
your anti-corruption war.
Instead, he was alleged to have diverted billions of naira from the
recovered funds to his account and sold out some of the seized property
to his cronies. These are just two of many of the allegations against
him. The Ibrahim Magu we surmised was Messiah unknown to us was a Judas.
The funds he showed us that he had recovered, he would still go ahead to
siphon billions of it in his account. He didn’t spare some of the seized
items too. How could a whole EFCC Boss be looting the looted funds he
recovered. This isn’t how to be EFCC boss!
Can we say his earlier ‘gra-gra’ was to distract us from probing his
cupboard? Thank God, those he had once afflicted with his imbalance
anti-corruption fight were parts of the forces that ousted him from
office and stripped him off of the power he was not justly wielding.
What he exemplified in office was not how to be EFCC boss. Anyway, the
hunter has been hunted.
Aremu Lukman Umor