Ciroma or Umar; Nigerians in suspense over appointment of possible successor for Magu

A German proverb often quoted quips that “people talk about something until it actually happens.” It seems as though Nigerians are taking to that notion; willing the appointment of a new Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with the force of their words alone.

Conversations on the topic were buzzing from the minute reports about the alleged suspension of the Acting EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu had become public. Deliberations and speculations on who the new EFCC chairman would be had instantly begun. 

On Monday, there were reports that Magu had been reportedly arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) and although, the EFCC and the DSS refuted the reports, claiming that the EFCC boss merely honoured a panel invitation; speculations on the weight of allegations levelled against him strengthened with information that he had been reportedly suspended after appearing before a Rtd. Justice Ayo Salami Probe Panel at the Presidential Villa, on Tuesday.

There are current reports that Mohammed Umar, Director of Operations at the anti-graft agency, has been named Acting Chairman of the agency; speculations arose on whether he’d be the permanent chairman of EFCC.

Conflicting reports also suggest that there is considerable pressure from some quarters for the Presidency to allow the Secretary of the Commission, Ola Olukoyede, be appointed as Acting Chairman, inspite of arguments that he is a civilian.


An earlier trend in the day had suggested that the Commissioner of Police, FCT Command, Bala Ciroma, the favoured candidate for the position had been appointed. Nigerians had a lot to say about the development, with some questioning why a Chairman for the agency had to be from the Police Force. 


And with news of Umar’s reported appointment across major newspapers, some also raised eyebrows at the ethnicity of the would-be succesor, pointedly probing why appointment of EFCC heads by the Buhari administration and previous administrations favour the North. Some suggested that the President look to the South for options in appointing a new Chair for the commission. 

However, some countered the opinion, saying it was bigoted and divisive for Nigerians to suggest this. They emphasized that Buhari was not just choosing “Hausas” and that these individuals were from various ethnicities.


Although an official statement from the Presidency or the EFCC is yet to reveal Magu’s suspension as well as his successor, Nigerians are held spellbound as events continue to unfold. 


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