Seeks Buhari’s Intervention
By Ajibola Abayomi, Lagos
The International Association for Advancement and Defence of Human Right (IAADHR) at the weekend berated the Senate and the Department of State Security (DSS) for failing to confirm the appointment of Mallam Ibrahim Mustapha Magu as substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).
The group, led by its President, Comrade Bature Johnson, held a peaceful protest at the Secretariat of the Lagos State chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), where they urged President Muhammadu Buhari to wade into the matter.
The IAADHR leader called on the President to jettison the DSS report quoted by the Senate and instead prevail on the National Assembly to rely on the reports of the Presidential Advisory Committee to confirm the EFCC Chairman.
Addressing journalists at the NUJ Secretariat, Bature argued that the rejection of Magu would have negative consequences on the Federal Government’s anti-corruption crusade.
He critised the Senate for hinging the non-confirmation of the EFCC boss on the alleged security report emanating from the DSS, alleging that Magu was living in a N20 million per annum apartment, boarding first class flight to Saudi Arabia, leaking of official secrets among others without giving him fair hearing.
“The Senate President, Bukola Saraki remains in office despite facing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, yet he wouldn’t want Magu confirmed when it was obvious that the latter has never been found wanting or indicted by any court in the nation.
“Instead of passing into law the Pension Bill sent by the executive to give succour to the pensioners, sadly, some of the senators who were either former governors or ministers have continued to draw pension running to millions of naira from the nation’s treasury despite the economic hardship in the land” he alleged.
Bature pleaded with the DSS to discharge its duties diligently and avoid things that could undermine the nation’s democracy.
“They want the EFCC to compromise its tough stance against corruption and give soft landing to corrupt Nigerians. The rejection of Magu will have far reaching implications for Nigeria. If the DSS knew all along that he was security risk as being portrayed, why not raising the alarm before now? That, no doubt, left Nigerians with greater doubt about the use and abuse of security reports.
“For the fight against corruption, it is indeed a setback because the EFCC boss has not been allowed to respond, defend himself or have legal representation on allegations levelled against him thus violating his rights to fair hearing and liberty” he said.