The Presidency on Saturday said a series of documented allegations were made against the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.
Reacting to the recent suspension of the country anti-graft boss, the Presidency in a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said from a preliminary review of the allegations leveled against the acting Chairman and several other members of his staff, there were grounds for a detailed investigation to be conducted.
Shehu said this was why an investigative panel was constituted in compliance with the extant laws governing the convening of such a body.
“As is the proper procedure, when allegations are made against the Chief Executive of an institution, and in this case an institution that ought to be seen as beyond reproach, the Chief Executive has to step down from his post and allow for a transparent and unhindered investigation.
“The EFCC does not revolve around the personality of an individual, and as such cannot be seen through the prism of any individual.
“Therefore, the suspension of Mr Ibrahim Magu, allows the institution to continue carrying out its mandate without the cloud of investigation hanging over its head,” he said.
The Presidential aide further said that the EFCC had many good, hardworking men and women who were committed to its ideal and ensuring that the wealth of the country wasn’t plundered and wherein there was an act of misappropriation such person(s) wee brought to justice.
He also stated that the suspended acting Chairman of the Commission was being availed the opportunity to defend himself and answer the allegations against him.
“This is how it should be, as is the fact that under the Laws of Nigeria every citizen is presumed and remains innocent until proven guilty.
“We must realize that the fight against corruption is not a static event, but a dynamic and ever evolving process, in which the EFCC is just one actor; and as we continue to work towards improving our democratic process so shall every institution of ours also embark on that journey of evolution.
“What is however important is that there must be accountability and transparency and our people must realize that they would be held to account. This is the building block in the fight against corruption, the establishment of the concept of Accountability and the recognition of the Rule of Law.
“Those who see Mr. Magu’s investigation, as a signal that the fight against corruption is failing, have unfortunately, missed the boat,” Shehu said.
He said that there was no better indication that the fight was real and active than the will to investigate allegations in an open and transparent manner against those who had been charged to be custodians of this very system.
Shehu said under this President and Government, “this is our mantra and guiding principle and there are no sacred cows, and for those who think they have a halo over their heads, their days are also numbered.”
He said Mr. Magu was not immune – and regardless of the obvious embarrassment that potential acts of wrongdoing by him, given the office he held, might appear for the government.
Shehu said no other administration in the history of Nigeria would have moved to bring into the light and public domain such an allegation.