I haven’t met or talked to the EFCC President for over 7 months.
On Sunday, there were signs that the anti-corruption war waged by the administration of President Muhammadu Bukhari may have suffered a major setback following the exposure of Professor Itse Sagaya (SAN), chairman of the President’s Advisory Committee on Corruption (PACAC), who did not meet or speak with Ibrahim Umar, Interim Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) since his appointment in July 2020.
PACAC was established in August 2015 with a mandate to advance the government’s anti-corruption reform agenda and advise the current administration on the war against corruption and the implementation of necessary reforms in Nigeria’s criminal justice system.
The committee maintained a harmonious working relationship with Ibrahim Magu, the former interim president of the EFCC, and even recommended him several times for approval as the acting chairman of the committee.
Even when Magu was rejected twice by the 8th Senate, Sagai advised President Bukhari not to replace him, stating that he could serve as interim president indefinitely. Magu was subsequently removed from office by President Bukhari and replaced by Umar, who until his appointment was head of the anti-corruption agency’s operations.
In an interview with the Daily Independent, Sagay said he had not met or spoke with Umar since his appointment more than seven months ago, citing the COVID-19 pandemic as a major obstacle.
Asked about the relationship between his committee and the interim president of the EFCC since his appointment, Sagai said, “Unfortunately, his appointment coincided with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. So, I haven’t been to Abuja for a year. So, I didn’t meet with the interim president of the EFCC, and we never spoke together.
“But we agreed on something; we have organized a program with the heads of various anti-corruption agencies and we will discuss how they should cooperate with each other, provide each other with relevant information and support each other in any investigation or prosecution.
“We organized it all, but unfortunately COVID-19 made us postpone it. If we made it virtual, it would not be as successful as when we are all together. So, for this reason, I did not meet with him. “
Also referring to the president’s request to the Senate to confirm Abdulrashid Bawa as the current chairman of the EFCC, Sagay said that no one could question the president’s decision to appoint anyone who wishes to head the commission.
“If he sent another name to the Senate for confirmation, it means that he left Magu. According to his lawyer, that justice in the Magu case did not prevail, this could be true. “
“All this is somehow veiled. This is how I see it. I’m not even happy with the situation, but you have to come to terms with these things. The President has the prerogative to convey the name of whoever he wishes. I don’t think there can be any doubt about that. You can question his judgment, but you cannot question his right to appoint whoever you want to be the head of the commission. “
However, speaking to our correspondent, some Nigerians believe that the war on corruption is not all right and are wondering how COVID-19 can limit communication between agencies involved in the fight against corruption.
Ubani, a former second vice president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on Monday, said that given the importance of both bodies in fighting corruption, the fact that Sagai and Umar have not communicated in the past seven months shows that something not this way. basically went.
“If COVID-19 makes physical contact impossible, we are living in a technology-driven era, and there are so many devices now that you can use to connect with each other, no matter where you are in the world.
“So it’s very strange that there was no communication in light of his role and the importance of his agency in the fight against corruption.
“If the interim president of the EFCC is not in contact with the person who chairs the president’s advisory committee on corruption, then it is clear that something is fundamentally wrong.”
The People’s Democratic Party (NDP) said the situation once again confirmed its claim about the collapse of the government in the country.
Cola Ologbondiyan, the party’s national advertising secretary, said: “We have always maintained that the management was stopped in accordance with the PCA. Complete lack of power in the country. So Professor Sagai’s statement did not come as a surprise. “
Moreover, Afenifere, a pan-Yoruba socio-political organization, said Nigerians would be deceived if they believed the current administration was waging an anti-corruption war.
Yinka Odumakin, the organization’s national secretary for advertising, said the anti-corruption war had completely failed.
“It is clear that the anti-corruption war has completely failed. There is nothing called a war on corruption, it is just a hoax. Unsurprisingly, they simply chose the man allegedly charged with theft as the new president of the EFCC. We will be deceived if we believe that a serious anti-corruption war is going on in this administration. ”
Source: -Independent Ng