Acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu has just undergone a very uncomfortable, long and gruelling (for Magu, especially) confirmation hearing session at the National Assembly that led to his eventual rejection.
He started by patronising to the Senate saying that both his agency and the Senate share complimentary roles in fighting corruption but that’s as friendly as the just-concluded hearing got. Our people here are certain that the Senate had a game plan and their minds were made up even before Magu walked in for that hearing. And it wouldn’t have mattered to them one bit that he could clearly explain the institutional measures put in place by the EFCC to curb corruption within the agency – a problem the agency definitely has -and Magu could not answer that, just to be clear.
Beyond all of the drama directly linked to his rejection, this long hearing offered us some insight into the shocking world of Nigerian administrative procedures and personalities. Like how Magu is probably one of the extremely rare members of the Nigerian ruling class that looks fit, prim and proper. We joke; more serious revelations below:
1. Magu was once detained by the EFCC for over 20 months
Wait! What? Who knew this. Our guess is that Mr Magu revealed this to underscore how efficient the EFCC it but all we can take from it is that it’s true what they say about “hanging in there”. He was detained by the EFCC yet he rose up to be acting chairman -look at this life eh?
2. Ibrahim Magu lived in a safe house owned Dora Akunyili whose son later leased it to EFCC
This was after Mrs Akunyili’s death and according to Magu, the young man was “looking for money” to go back to the United States.
3. Magu must have been under the impression that the notorious Fayose spoke from the comfort of the National Assembly
Because at some point during his hearing, he referred to the Ekiti State Senator, Duro Faseyin as “Senator Fayose”. We bet we’ll be hearing from Senator Fayose by tomorrow morning. And if we are being fair, he does have a reason to gloat if a governor can be praised for the brilliance of legislators from his State and party. Another Ekiti Senator, Mrs Olujimi asked the most polite yet succinct questions of Ibrahim Magu throughout the session as far as we are concerned.
4. Hope Uzodinma is not as obsessed as we thought about Hamid Ali as we thought
The Senator from Imo who also heads the Senate Committee on customs and excise was not only present at today’s hearing, he made himself heard too and he made no uniform-related demands.
5. The DSS is one complicated if not shady agency
Because we really cannot wrap our heads around how the President claimed that he had a letter from the Department of State Services clearing Magu yet Senator Dino Melaye and the whole National Assembly managed to have received another letter clearly stating that Magu “failed the integrity test”.
6. The President cannot get his own nominee confirmed evn in an APC controlled legislature!
Because what else can we take away from this embarassment eh?
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