– Lobbyists have started visiting President Buhari to plot for Magu’s replacement
– The president however is insisting on keeping Magu as investigation continues
– He rejected all the names submitted to him to replace the acting EFCC chairman
President Muhammadu Buhari has shocked lobbyists who visited him to push for the sack and replacement of Ibrahim Magu as the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by shunning them.
The Senate had rejected the appointment of Magu as chairman of the anti-graft agency and this has resulted in a scramble for his position with former governor, ministers and other powerful politicians hoping to influence the replacement.
Buhari rejects lobbyists plotting Magu’s replacement
The Nation reports that the lobbyists who visited the president on Saturday, December 17 listed retired commissioner of police Zakari Biu, comptroller-general of customs Col. Hamid Ali (retd.), retired AIG Amodu Ali and pioneer EFCC chairman Nuhu Ribadu but were shocked when Buhari rejected all the names and said he would not sack Magu based on the EFCC report alone.
A source said: “The President demanded for more cogent reasons on why he should sack Magu. He said they should bring more convincing reasons beyond the DSS report.”
However, the Presidential Committee Against Corruption (PCAC) led by Professor Itse Sagay has faulted the rejected of Magu by the Senate insisting that it was not surprised as some of the senators were being probed for corruption.
PCAC wrote an advisory to President Buhari asking for Magu’s name to be resent to the Senate.
A source said: “PCAC has sent an advisory to the Presidency on the DSS report, the implications of the decision of the Senate and the need to renominate Magu.
“In the advisory, PCAC has contrary opinions on the report of the DSS. It made it clear that the allegations against Magu by the DSS were ‘very weak and very spurious’. There is no substance in the allegations that can withstand a legal test.
“Members of PCAC saw the conspiracy against Magu coming because some people have been desperate to frustrate the anti-corruption agenda of the government.”
Another source said: “PCAC believes that the decision of the Senate was political because about 10-15 %of 109 senators under investigation or trial by EFCC. There was no way these senators will want Magu confirmed.
“The list of these senators is available with the EFCC. Some of them are already on trial to the knowledge of the public.
“We have written formally to the government on the politics which beclouded the rejection of Magu by the Senate. Some fifth columnists are at work. They want the anti-corruption campaign to fail. We feel that Magu’s name should be re-submitted with unambiguous security clearance.
“We also expect the Presidency to come up with a position on Magu this week. So far, Buhari has a wide range of opinions to choose from.”
“He would remain in office as acting chairman of EFCC because Senate’s decision does not amount to automatic vacation of the office”.
“In fact, he can serve in acting capacity for up to three years and the President will not be committing any infractions.”
In a related development, the Nigerian Senate has said it might reconsider its decision to confirm Magu as the chairman of the EFCC.
The upper chamber said the explanations provided by President Muhammadu Buhari, who had nominated Magu, would determine if the nominee would be considered or not.