by Alexander O. Onukwe
In his response to the ongoing disagreement between the AGF Abubakar Malami and Ibrahim Magu of the EFCC, Lai Mohammed, the Information Minister did say that “the president will look into the matter and make his pronouncement. He will ask why the AGF is taking such a position and why the EFCC chairman is taking another position.”
The Minister believes it is an administrative issue which will be resolved by the President who employed both men, and would this resolution take the form of a cabinet reshuffle?
Mr Malami has undertaken the process of adding some checks and extra supervisory measures on the EFCC with the establishment of an investigative unit in the Ministry of Justice for cases that are deemed “sensitive and important”. Like some other Ministers, however, the AGF has been criticized for not delivering on the anti-corruption agenda of the administration having failed to land any resounding prosecution in the past two years. Malami may defend himself to say that the measure taken would bring about such expected good results, but given his feud with the EFCC, it would appear about right that both men are not left to remain in an environment where they clash.
A cabinet shuffle has been suggested by many commentators for some time now. The President’s resumption speech on August 21 was variously criticized for being a missed opportunity for doing so, but even if it were to be done now, it would still be timely.
On the other hand, it could finally be time for the Presidency to loosen up on its fondness of Magu so as not to sabotage itself. No one officer or appointed official should be greater than the Presidency, and as good as he might be, it only seems wise that the President cuts down on the hubris being generated as a result of scuffles between various persons/agencies and the acting EFCC boss.