A Coalition of Anti-corruption groups has called on the Senate to urgently confirm Mr Ibrahim Magu as the substantive Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
This is contained in a statement signed by Debo Adeniran of the Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.
The group said this would give the ongoing anti-corruption fight the impetus it desperately needed and help to sustain the Buhari Administration in curtailing impunity in governance.
“Section 2 of the EFCC Act says ‘there shall be a Chairman who shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the commission, and who shall not be below the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of police.
“He is to be saddled with the responsibility of running the anti-crime commission. The groups verily believe that Mr Magu, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, meets and exceeds this requirement.
“ And therefore, his confirmation as EFCC Chairman without further delay will give the anti-corruption fight the boost it needs to end the culture of impunity and systemic corruption in Nigeria,’’ the statement quoted representatives of the coalition as saying.
Members of the Coalition – ANEEJ, CACOL, CSNAC, Centre for Transparency Advocacy (CTA), and Publish What You Pay, said that the security of tenure for the leadership of the anti-corruption agencies saddled with the task of tackling the debilitating effects of corruption was a globally recognised principle for guaranteeing the independence of anti-corruption agencies.
They said fighting corruption without the basic guarantee of security of tenure for the head of anti-corruption agencies had become the trend in the recent past in Nigeria.
“ And was one of the major limitations of the fight against the scourge of corruption in Nigeria and the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has a duty to reverse this trend.
“The guarantee of security of tenure of anti-corruption agencies officials is at the root of the 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,’’ the group said.
It, therefore, called on the Senate to treat Mr Magu’s confirmation as substantive executive chairman of the EFCC as a matter of top priority and of urgent national interest.
“We also call on President Buhari to use the ongoing second review mechanism of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption(UNCAC), which Nigeria is undergoing, to send a strong message to the international community that Nigeria is genuinely committed to the fight against corruption,’’ the group added.
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