Since 2015, Ibrahim Magu, the EFCC Chairman has been given a tough job: to rid Nigeria of corruption. It is tough because Corruption runs deep, both in the private and public life in Nigeria. It is a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the very fabric of society.
“You guys don’t know how bad the situation is,” he explained last week. “The problem of Corruption is really deep rooted and it has gone on for years. It even predates the setting up of the EFCC in 2003. It is a big battle. Many people don’t know how we operate. We are thorough and painstaking in our investigations. It may take us months and even years. We don’t usually disclose what we are doing to the press so that it does not jeorpadise our work. If information starts in EFCC, it does not stop until it is concluded. And when it is concluded we hand it over to the courts. Only the courts can exonerate you, after trial.”
“My mandate is to fight corruption. And I have promissed to fight everybody that is corrupt”. “People often acuse the EFCC of being partisan,” he explains. “Far from it. We are not. We cannot even be partisan because we have been given a free hand to operate. We believe in Gov, that is the only person we don’t investigate at EFCC. In terms of respect and allegiance in the way I work, its usually God 1st, Nigeria 2nd and every other thing comes 3rd.”
“We do through investigations at EFCC. Once we receive a petition, whether it is signed or not, we would commence investigations. That is why we have so many investigation. But we alone can’t fight the corruption war. Our efforts is not sufficient. All well meaning Nigerians should take up the war, they should take ownership of the fight against corruption. A lot of work needs to be done. We can’t prosecute all the cases at once. It takes time.”
“And so we need your help. You can trust me that whatever information we get about corruption cases we would thoroughly investigate.
It has been a tough battle. But it will be naive for anyone to expect the fight against Corruption to be smooth. You should expect resistance, which is expressed in various guises. With the general election fast approaching, the resistance has assumed even frightening dimensions with Political Motives imputed to most of our activities.
These days, it has become fashionable for anyone being investigated for corruption by the Commission to scream political persecution. Corrupt officials of state governments are pleading immunities not ascribed to them by the Constitution. Some governors have also extended the frontiers of their constitutional immunities by claiming that anti-corruption agencies cannot even investigate them! Sadly, some of our friends in the media help amplify these narratives and thereby diverting attention from the real issues.
The times we are in, call for vigilance. As I have stated in various fora, the EFCC is apolitical and will not knock on your door, if you have not violated the law. We owe Nigerians a duty not to allow the corrupt to deploy their ill-gotten riches to corner the machinery of government. Such folly was injurious to our national wellbeing in the past and will not profit us in the future.
We must all do what is right for our country, which is ensuring that those who steal our common patrimony are brought to justice.
Regardless of the’ distractions and irritations by the corrupt, we are making progress. Over the past three years, the Commission under my leadership has consistently recorded improvements in the areas of prosecution of persons for corruption and recovery of stolen assets. So far this year, we have had the honour of sending two former governors to jail for 14 years each. It has never happened before! As I speak with you, the Commission has recorded over 158 convictions. At this rate, I am confident that we will surpass the record of 189 convictions achieved in 2017.”
“In terms of assets recovery, the figures from January to August 2018 stood at One Hundred and: Six Billion, Five Hundred and Sixteen Million, Two Hundred and Twenty-Two Thousand, Three Hundred and Eighty-Three naira, Sixty-Eight Kobo (N106,516,222,383.68), One Million, Six Hundred and Thirty-Five Thousand, Nine Hundred and Twenty-Five Dollar, Eighty-One Cent ($1,635,925.81), Six Hundred and Twenty- nine thousand, One Hundred and Ninety-three Pounds, 65 pence (GBP 629,193.65) and Twenty-five Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy- Five EURO (EURO 25,575)”.
“Remarkable as this feat is, we are not resting on our oars.”
“We believe there is still a lot to be done, which is the reason we are actively seeking the support of all stakeholders.”
“We do not pretend to have a monopoly of knowledge on how to win the war against corruption. The anti-corruption campaign requires a concerted effort. I enjoin members of the public, including the media, to be part of this effort by reporting cases of corruption to the EFCC.”
“Petitions and complaints can be forwarded to the commission by email via:firstname.lastname@example.org.
What has helped Maga in doing his job is the fact that he has a reputation for having been a no nonesense police office all through his career. He has had a brilliant career in the Police force.
The 56 year old cop was appointed acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on 09 November 2015 after Ibrahim Lamorde (who had earlier served twice) was sacked by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Both Lamorde and Magu served during Nuhu Ribadu’s time at the anti-graft agency and were also credited with part of the success Ribadu recorded in his time.
Ibrahim Mustafa Magu is a Kanuri from Borno State.
He attended Maiduguri’s Primary School (from 1969 to 1975), Waka Biu’s Secondary School from 1975 to 1980 and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria from 1982-1986 where he graduated with a BSc. Accounting.
After the completion of his National Youth Service Corps, he served in various Ministries and Departments in the Borno State Government as an Accountant and rose to become a Zonal Accountant before he voluntarily resigned to join the Nigeria Police Force as an Assistant Superintendent of Police in 1990. He was the Coordinator, [Nigeria Police Building Society] before moving on to Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) where he served as a Team Leader in charge of Financial Crimes, Money Laundering and Advance Fee Fraud investigation.
The Police Service Commission (PSC) on Friday, 28th of April 2018 announced the promotion of 18 senior officers after her 27th Plenary Meeting which ended in Abuja where Magu was promoted to the rank of a full Commissioner from Deputy Commissioner.
At the end of the 8th Regional Conference of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Commonwealth Africa held at Transcorp Hilton (Abuja, Nigeria) on 19th of May 2018, Magu has emerged their new Chairman. His appointment was the highpoint of a 5-day regional conference with the theme: “Partnering Towards Assets Recovery and Return”.
Ibrahim Mustafa Magu is a certified Accountant, a trained financial crimes investigator with background in forensic accounting, and he also trained at the FBI Institute and the London Metropolitan Police Institute.
Mr. Magu was one of the first set of recruits into the EFCC by the pioneer Chairman of the commission, Nuhu Ribadu.
Ibrahim Mustafa Magu has been described as a fearless investigator who can go to any length to get the information he needs and he never hesitate to stand up to any obstacle put on his way.
Back in the day, Magu was head of EFCC’s Economic Governance Unit (EGU) That was during the tenure of Nuhu Ribadu.
He graduated from the Department of Accountancy from the University of Maiduguri. He is a trained financial crimes investigator with background inforensic accounting, and training at the FBI Institute and the London Metropolitan Police Institute.
He gained recognition after successfully leading many high profile investigations against many former governors like James Ibori of Delta State ex-Gov. Dariye of Plateau, Rev. Jolly Nyame.