Hometruths By Adeola Akinremi, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Like a virus, the scandalous story of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) boss, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, authored by the Department of State Services, crashed conscience across the country last week.
It was a grievous blow to national and social conscience that the late Chief Gani Fawenhinmi, Nigeria’s voice of conscience must have rolled over in his grave.
From activists, lawyers, journalists to anti-corruption crusaders, corruption is being ‘padded’ in style for Magu’s sake.
According to DSS, “Magu is currently occupying a residence rented for N40m at N20m per annum. This accommodation was not paid (for) from the commission’s finances, but by one Umar Mohammed, air commodore retired, a questionable businessman who has subsequently been arrested by the secret service.
“For the furnishing of the residence, Magu enlisted the Federal Capital Development Authority to award a contract to Africa Energy, a company owned by the same Mohammed, to furnish the residence at the cost of N43m.”
Amazingly, the left wing journalists (mostly operating online) known for their radical views on anti-corruption and political reform were the first category of people to dismiss DSS report.
The left wing journalists came up with their own report tagging it Fact-Check with misleading impression. They simply turned truth on its head.
Unfortunately, the Fact Check was short of being credible.
They even published what they confessed to being “unverifiable” in the report.
Sadly, the left wing journalists in their bid to set Magu free equally twisted the story in the minds of Nigerians by going after another report authored by the DSS on the same Magu’s case that pleaded leniency for Magu during the Senate screening. They called it “contradictory”.
Yes, the DSS may have written two security reports on Magu, but is the content different?
This is what a Yoruba adage described as “Ete and Lapalapa” situation meaning “we are we leaving leprosy aside to go after ringworm or giving the treatment of ringworm for leprosy.”
Sufficiently, the left wing journalists sold Nigerians the dummy that the in-fighting among the president’s men is responsible for the DSS report on Magu.
They want us to see Magu as a sacrificial lamb, but didn’t Magu truly walked in the shadow of corruption based on the DSS report?
They have even gone extra mile to use their publications to stampede President Muhammadu Buhari to rise up for Magu with an innuendo depicting him as a president who has lost legitimacy.
“He (President Buhari) cannot exercise his authority and that is what we are beginning to observe,” a writer for a left wing publication wrote. Really?
They want Nigeria to ignore the truth, because the lid was blown open by the Senate that is already in Nigerians’ black book.
Clearly, anti-Senate and anti-Saraki’s stories have been making the headlines in the left wing news organisations since Magu’s scandalous story broke, just to keep us all away from discussing the scandal.
We all know that Saraki and his Senate are so unpropitious for the quests of the common man, but shouldn’t we talk about Magu who now has a badge of corruption?
How did Nigeria end up with a man of questionable integrity leading the EFCC?
Why did President Buhari not get security report on Magu before handing him the keys of EFCC as acting Chairman?
Lobbyists pretending to be Op-Ed writers have been bending their words as a form of deflection on the real issue.
They are denigrating the DSS to save Magu.
But when DSS went after judges labeled as corrupt the other day, even without making its report public, the left wing journalists were praising them to high heavens.
But can Mr. Magu come forward and answer these questions: Is Magu living in a house furnished with N40 million or not? Who is behind the payment for the apartment? Did Magu travel on first class to perform lesser hajj with N2.9 million or not? Can FCTA pay for Mr. Magu’s house against the current monetisation policy and can a grade-level 14 officer in the police live large on such a rent?
Did Magu take classified document away from EFCC, when he was suspended from service or not?
These are the pertinent questions that Nigerians are interested in, not what is now termed “contradictory” reports of the DSS by the left wing journalists.
Professor Itsejuwa Esanjumi Sagay popularly called Prof. Itse Sagay who also heads an anti-corruption advisory committee of this government has been speaking from a dead conscience calling DSS report “staged managed” saying “there is no basis for that (SSS) report. The man has held positions before. The whole thing is bogus.”
Can we continue to trust Sagay with his advice to the government?
In 2005, Sagay acted as a defense attorney for the late Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, who after looting Bayelsa dry was in the United Kingdom for free-spending.
The London Metropolitan Police tightened the noose around him and got him arrested for money laundering, but he jumped bail and returned to Nigeria in a well-packaged “women wrapper.” We all know about the crime. Don’t we?
Alamieyeseigha was charged under UK’s Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, where the crime of money laundering was well defined.
But Sagay argued for Alamieyeseigha’s immunity in International law, a ploy to get him off the hook at a time the law was crystal clear on Alams’ misdeeds.
Now, with Magu, Sagay is not seeing beyond his own nose, the same way he did for Alamieyeseigha.
For Sagay, the DSS boss, has said the agency is standing by its report. At a security briefing with editors in Aso Villa on Monday, Lawan Daura, offered no comment on the report telling journalists to go and look at the report once more.
And though the president has subtly asked that Magu should be investigated along with others on the watch list, Magu remains the man in charge.
It is the same for others like the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal, who is linked to corruption proceeds in a contract.
And this, the MTN fine scandal-roiled Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, is the man the president asked to investigate officials in his cabinet whose names have come up for corruption. These are the president’s men. Can Satan casts out Satan?
Follow me on Twitter: @adeolaakinremi1