Earlier this week, the first lady Aisha Buhari went on Twitter to announce to the country that her aides had been arrested on the orders of the Inspector General of Police, at the behest of a presidential aide who had come from another state and refused to self quarantine. She also alleged that armed men had fired live rounds at her aides and her children had been intimidated. It seems such a preposterous story that Nigerians dismissed it as the first lady trying to gain public sympathy. But in the days since then, the presidency has corroborated her statement and announced that they were beginning an investigation into the matter.
This is just one of dozens of unexpected events that have happened around the presidency this year. The most powerful event however, was one that no one could predict or prevent. The death of former Secretary General of the Federation, Mallam Abba Kyari, from Coronavirus complications shocked the country and destabilized the presidency. We are still seeing the ripple effects of this singular event. Most recently, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.
This isn’t the first time that Magu has had his tenure as EFCC boss questioned. He was acting chairman for most of President Buhari’s first term and was rejected outright by the Nigerian Senate in 2017 as a poor fit for the position of EFCC chairman. That did little to stay his ambition and he was allowed to remain in power by the president who vetoed Magu’s rejection. It was only a matter of time before someone who could not be ignored would come for him. Malami is a staunch supporter of the presidency and has engaged himself in actions that have threatened to tarnish his office (most recently his defense of the illegal arrest and detainment of Omoyele Sowore on grounds of treason). So Nigerians, while skeptical of Magu, are not rushing to pitch their tents with Malami.
AGF Malami has alleged that Magu’s tenure has been marred by discrepancies between the public figures shared from the organization he helms and the revenue that is deposited with the Senate. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. Especially as there is no love lost between the President’s family and either man.