By Lukman Olabiyi
As controversy continues to trail rejection of acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu as substantive chairman of the commission by the Senate, the Executive Director of Movement for Popular Democracy (MPD), Theo Nwaigbo, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to re-nominate him for confirmation. Nwaigbo, a legal practitioner and rights activist, spoke with Daily Sun recently in Lagos. Excerpts:
How would you describe Magu?
I have known Magu for many years as a practising lawyer. I also knew him as an officer even before the establishment of EFCC. It is a shame that desperate corrupt politicians could resort to peddling wicked lies against such a decent officer.
I have known Magu for over 20 years. He has handled petitions from our chamber when such petitions were referred to him, right from when he was in Special Fraud Unit (SFU). He never asked or received money even as a thank-you gesture after completing his assignment. He does not smoke cigarette. Those are lies from the pit of hell.
What then is Magu’s sin?
Magu’s only sin is his uncompromising stance on corruption. He is one of the finest officers Nigeria ever produced. He is reliable, trustworthy and tested. He always fights with his whole heart on whatever he believes in. But due to his uncompromising nature, they see him as a threat.
I know this fellow, if he is not a policeman he should be a priest. He is decent and discipline. The problem they have with him is that, he cannot compromise crimes.
They have done several desperate things to compromise him. I know of some of them who have come up with ridiculous plea bargain packages, which Magu rejected. That is the heart of the matter.
How would you want the President to intervene?
Mr. President should repackage Magu and send him back to the Senate for confirmation. He should not allow this pure vendetta to derail the anti-corruption war.
How would you describe EFCC’s detention facilities?
EFCC detention facilities are second to none and of high international standard. I was priviledged to accompany the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), secretary, Professor Bam Angwe to EFCC cells. We were amazed at the quality of the facilities. I travel round the world, and I know people die in custody in Washington, New York, Ontario etc. Because one or two persons die in EFCC custody then, Magu should be blamed?
What about allegation of tribalism against Magu?
Whoever said Magu is tribalistic does not really know who Magu is. All the people who are working with him, majority of them are southerners, even his personal assistant is a southerner.