July 14, 2020

Magu probe fallout: ‘EFCC not police dept; officers on secondment never leave’

Enemies of Nigeria behind Magu's ordeal, ex- EFCC boss' classmates tell Buhari

Ibrahim Magu

Ibrahim Magu

Some operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, are grumbling over the continued appointment of police officers to head the anti-graft agency, noting that the agency is neither a police establishment nor a department.

Arguing that police officers on secondment to EFCC never leave, the operatives said the Federal Government should change the system so that credible civilians and personnel of other security and law enforcement agencies can head the commission.

Sources at EFCC headquarters said since the establishment of the commission, the police have been the only agency providing EFCC’s head.

According to the source, “the law establishing the EFCC recommends that the commission shall consist of a chairman who shall be the Chief Executive and Accounting Officer of the commission.

“He shall be a retired or serving member of any government security or law enforcement agency not below the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police or its equivalent.”

The EFCC sources wondered why the police, who they claimed have a poor image among citizens, will continue to run an anti-corruption body that should be seen as above board.

The source said: “Kanu Agabi (Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation under Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration) brought Ribadu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police.

“Then, Nuhu Ribadu brought police people on secondment. Secondment means come and help build the institution, which is often renewed after two years, after which the personnel on secondment returns to his original posting.

“But these people came and didn’t want to go back. Some of them have stayed in this organisation for up to 17 years. One of them is Magu, who just ran into a problem. Some others have remained here for 17 years, which is against the law.

“You don’t go to secondment and remain there. I don’t know what is wrong with the government. The police have turned this place into a police establishment. It’s not a police establishment, neither is it a police department.

“It is an independent body, that is why Nuhu Ribadu recruited the operatives and trained them to bear arms.

“But the police are carrying on as if they own the place. They don’t want to leave and it has been turned to a kind of colonial master arrangement.

“How can you say that police are not good and you hand over the commission to the police? Can you get anything good from bad wine? No, you can’t get anything good from bad wine.”