Following the rejection of Ibrahim Magu as substantive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, a pro-democracy group has called for the immediate reform of the anti-graft agency.
The body, Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution, CDNDC, also urged the Senate not to stop at declining Magu’s confirmation alone, but to “in the interest of the nation” conduct “an urgent public investigation of the EFCC”, especially given the admission by Magu that EFCC is corrupt.
The organisation in a statement by its co-convener, Ariyo-Dare Atoye, however commended the Senate and the Department of State Service (DSS) for refusing the nomination of Magu, noting that “the EFCC deserves someone with impeccable integrity.”
“We state emphatically that the non-confirmation of Magu by the Senate is a victory for rule of law and democracy; this would quickly afford President Muhammadu Buhari a veritable opportunity to pick a new man who would fight corruption with uprightness, thoroughness and sincerity of purpose.
“We urgently appeal to Mr. President to immediately commence the reform of the EFCC: to save the institution from crumbling; restructure its internal operation and administrative system which has become a mess; improve its investigative capacity which has waned and affected by unprofessional conducts, and overhaul its prosecutorial strategy which has been badly undermined by propaganda.
“The EFCC needs an urgent reform to become a truly independent and autonomous institution that will fight economic crimes and prosecute corrupt persons without fear or favour and serve the interest of Nigerians,” the statement said.
The CDNDC also urged the Senate to carry out “an urgent open and public investigation of the EFCC, to unravel cases of favouritism and nepotism which have seriously undermined the primary responsibility of the agency.
“The EFFC under Magu had become a regional enclave, where preferential treatments are accorded cases under investigation and matters in court; this would come to the fore through a thorough review of its activities,” the coalition added.
The group also wants the senate to “prevail on the DSS, Police, military and para-military institutions to respect our courts, human rights, rule of law and conduct their activities in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”