Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says nobody, no matter how highly placed, will be “untouchable” in the ongoing anti-corruption crusade.
Speaking at the 20th Anniversary Public Lecture and Award Ceremony of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN), Magu, who was represented by Tony Orilade, Acting Head of the Public Interface Unit of the EFCC, assured Nigerians that the age of impunity is over.
“We are winning the war against corruption because the age of impunity is over, and never again would anyone be treated as sacred cow,” Magu said.
“We are blessed with both human and mineral resources. But why have we been unable to explore and exploit our potentials to the fullest? Your answer is as good as mine – corruption.
“Anywhere in the world where strict adherence to ethics and values by the citizenry is lacking, there will always be obvious deficit in morals, which is the antidote to corruption”.
“As far as we are striving to fight corruption to a standstill in Nigeria, sadly, it is fighting back, really hard.”
Magu said such fightback is not only on the pages of newspapers, but also in direct attacks on operatives of the agency.
He cited the incident in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State, in August, where a top investigator was shot but narrowly escaped death, and Abuja in June where some gunmen attacked the office of the EFCC but were repelled by security men.
“This is why I am using this platform and opportunity to call on you all, members of the fourth estate of the realm, to support the fight against corruption,” Magu said, adding that the EFCC remains committed “in ensuring that we rigorously pursue our mandate of ridding Nigeria of all forms of economic and financial crimes”.
In his speech, Bukka Abba, the head of publicity, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), commended Magu whom he described as “transparent and courageous”.
Magu has been having a running battle with the Senate over his confirmation as substantial Chairman of the EFCC.
Twice the upper legislative chamber has rejected his nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari, insisting that he is not as “clean” as he claims to be.