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Disquiet In Presidency Over Magu’s Tenure


The continued silence of President Muhammadu Buhari over the fate of Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is raising eyebrows in the presidency, Daily Independenthas gathered.
Credible sources told our correspondent that they are in the dark as to why the president is yet to make a decision on whether Magu’s tenure will be renewed or whether he will be replaced.
Magu was appointed on November 11, 2015 by President Buhari but the eighth Senate declined to clear him. He has been working in acting capacity since then.
According to our sources, the situation is more worrisome given the fact that Babatunde Fowler, former chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) whose tenure ended on December 8 was immediately replaced by the president the next day.
His replacement, Muhammad Nami, a tax consultant has been cleared by the Senate and has since resumed office as the substantive head of the commission.

Speaking with our correspondent, a presidency source said it is unclear as to why the president is yet to make a decision on Magu. He, however, added that he is under intense pressure as several lobbyists are mounting pressure on him to get a replacement for Magu.
“Honestly, the buck stops on the table of Mr. President but it is not an easy decision to make at all. Some people are beginning to say Magu is occupying the position illegally, first because he is not a substantive chairman of the EFCC; two, even his tenure as acting chairman has since ended yet he still remains in office”.
Another source also said it is a tough decision for the president to make especially given the fact that the war against corruption is one of the cardinal agenda of his administration.
“Several lobbyists are mounting pressure on him to replace Magu, saying there are millions of people out there who can do the job better. Some other groups are also saying Magu has performed creditably well and he should be given a second term”, he said.
Speaking with our correspondent, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), whose committee has been unequivocal on the need for Magu to be reappointed, said he is also in the dark as to why no decision has been taken by the presidency since Magu’s tenure elapsed.
According to Sagay, having worked closely with Magu in the fight against corruption, members of his committee have made recommendations to the appropriate quarters on the need to have him retained.
He, however, added that nobody has given them a feedback on what will be done on the issue.
“Frankly, I have no idea as to why no decision has been taken. For those of us who worked with Magu in the war against corruption, all appropriate recommendations have been made by us and it has been unequivocal that Magu should be reappointed.
‘Why there has been a delay is not quite clear to me. That shows you that some of us even though we are involved in this government, we are not really in the inside workings of the government. Nobody has spoken to us about it and we don’t know why. But we have made it clear that Magu is the best choice for now and he should be reappointed”, he said.
Also reacting, Afenifere, pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, said the prompt replacement of Fowler as FIRS boss while Magu whose tenure elapsed earlier still remains in office shows the double standards that is a trademark of the Buhari administration.
Yinka Odumakin, National Publicity Secretary of the organisation, said the president is treating Magu as a superior citizen while Fowler is an inferior citizen.
He added that the situation in Nigeria right now can be likened to George Orwell’s Animal Farm where all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.
“You should know that the chairman of EFCC is a superior citizen while Fowler is an inferior citizen. The double standard that is at play in this country today where some groups are superior and others are inferior.
“So, it is like the proverbial Animal Farm where all animals are equal but some are more equal than others. That is what is at play in this Magu issue”.

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