Acting President Yemi Osinbajo says President Muhammadu Buhari has resolved to work with Ibrahim Magu as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to stamp out corruption in the country.
Mr. Osinbajo, who spoke at the inauguration of the Kaduna office of the anti graft agency on Thursday, said those who think they are winning in fighting back against the government’s war on corruption, should wake up.
Represented by Gov Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State, Mr. Osinbajo said, so long as Buhari remains Nigeria’ s president, Mr. Magu would continue to work as the EFCC chairman.
“Mr. Chairman, two weeks ago, I discussed the EFCC and your appointment with President Muhammadu Buhari and he told me he has every confidence in you and every confidence in the commission and the work that you have been doing, and as long as he is president you remain the chairman of the EFCC,’’ he said.
Mr. El-Rufa’i also told the gathering the acting president was also solidly behind Mr. Magu.
“Last night, I spoke with the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who reconfirmed the position of the President and told me that as long as he remained the Acting President or Vice President, Ibrahim Magu would remain the chairman of the EFCC.
“That is the only message from the President, so those thinking that corruption is winning this war, Magu would remain their nightmare for the next two years or six years as the case may be.’’
Mr. Magu’s candidacy for the chairmanship position has been fiercely challenged by the Nigerian Senate.
Lawmakers rejected his nomination twice, and have repeatedly asked the president to fire him.
This week, the senate suspended consideration of all confirmation processes for executive nominees, demanding Mr. Magu’s removal.
Gov. El-Rufai had earlier said his administration donated the office to the EFCC to demonstrate its “zero tolerance to bad behaviour by public office holders, contractors, businesses and citizens”.
“We applaud the leadership of the EFCC for taking the significant step to establish a state office in Kaduna.
“I assure you that you can continue to count on us in Kaduna to support the commission in every facet of its activities.
“We have set aside land for your training school awaiting the submission of your application.
“We have also set aside land to build your staff housing estate, if you so require,” he said.
He said the state was first to adopt the Federal Government policy on Single Treasury Account (TSA).
The governor explained that as a result of that, over N25 billion was realised by the government after it closed about 470 accounts with commercial banks.
He said the anti graft agency had assisted the state government in recovering over N400 million from corrupt public officials.
Earlier, the acting chairman of the EFCC called for public support to the agency in the fight against corruption in the land.
Mr. Magu said Nigerians must rise and do what is expected of them to reclaim their common wealth stolen by a few corrupt individuals.
“If we can pause and trace the root cause of the problem that confronts us as a nation, we will discover they are all linked to corruption.
“Corruption is the cause of the recession that has pushed our people deeper into poverty and the insurgency that has visited death, displacement and untold hardship on Nigerians in the North East.
“This is the reason I have suggested that we set up prison for the corrupt in the Sambisa forest, where they can be kept away and have the sobriety to be truly reformed,” Mr. Magu said.