The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has dismissed an assertion by Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State that there are over 1,001 Nigerians who can be chairman of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as “reactionary” and a bad precedent with possible catastrophic consequences.
Speaking on a radio program in Ibadan, Mr. Akeredolu called for the replacement of the acting Chairman of the agency, Ibrahim Magu, because of the refusal of the Senate to confirm his appointment.
Responding, Debo Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of CACOL, expressed surprise that the governor, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, chose to comment in the manner he did on a matter that is before the Supreme Court for adjudication.
“With all due respect to the SAN, we do not think that the consciously Senate-generated impasse over EFCC Chairmanship can grind the country to halt,” the CACOL boss said, adding that the governor was guilty of exaggerating the situation.”
“It is a reactionary suggestion and more of a subtle support for the side of the Senate in the debacle. Stating that “we have more than 1,001 people who can be chairman of the EFCC” is trying to find the easy way out and setting a very bad precedent that will have catastrophic consequences on our National life in future. And why does the governor prefer Magu to be replaced now that the matter is before the Supreme Court rather than wait for the judicial pronouncement?”
He warned that should Magu be denied the well-deserved confirmation, credible persons would be reluctant to come forward for the position, as a similar fate would await such a person.
“The Senate has refused to confirm Magu because of his impressionable role as Acting Chairman of EFCC; his boldness in confronting economic and financial crimes regardless of whose ox is gored,” Adeniran said. “Many [Senators] have one corruption case or the other to contend with, including the Senate President himself. They know that he will not give in to their antics of bribery and corruption. That is the crux of the matter.”
Affirming Magu’s suitability for the job, Adeniran stressed that the Senate as presently constituted, from the leadership to the rank and file, comprises of deeply-corrupt elements who deserve no space in such a quintessential arm of the government of a fledgling democracy.