The Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, PACAC, on Monday, described the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, as an arrow-head of a power bloc, just as a presidential panel grilled the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, for hours.
With reference to the controversies surrounding the embattled EFFC boss, PACAC, in a statement signed by Professor Femi Odekunle, said Malami is “an arrow-head or a major agent of a power bloc that is not really interested in, or in support of, Buhari’s anti-corruption fight.”
For PACAC, that DSS made an invitation by a panel, which was set up based on Malami’s memo, look like an arrest was mischievous, and the mischief “confirmed by some apparent afterthought denial by the DSS that it was not an arrest”.
The Committee added: “The alleged originating Malami memo, up to the current ‘arrest’ seems an outcome of power play by power blocs in the corridors of power.”
EFCC boss “arrested”, grilled
Recall that Magu was whisked away by armed DSS operatives to the panel in what was largely reported as an arrest.
However, DSS later issued a statement that Magu was invited for questioning and not arrested.
It was learned that the presidential panel set up by President Muhammadu Buhari, grilled Magu for six hours at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The panel, led by a former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami (retd), had seven other members, including Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Mike Ogbizi.
There were representatives from the Office of the National Security Adviser, DSS among other agencies.
Vanguard learned that no fewer than 24 allegations were levelled against Magu, many emanating from reports by Malami and DSS submitted in 2016 and 2017 to the Senate.
However, reacting to Magu’s ordeal, PACAC, in the statement said: “Malami had been exploiting his loyalty and closeness to President Muhammadu Buhari for his personal/power bloc agenda, but not manifesting any genuine commitment to the anti-corruption fight.
“The position of PACAC is that while Magu, or any official of whatever status, must be nailed if found to be corrupt, the President must be careful not to shoot his anti-corruption fight and modest achievements in the foot, and not to forget that EFCC, under Magu, has been the administration’s anti-corruption poster-face.
“Notwithstanding the situation at hand, the hope of PACAC is that the President would wake up to the ongoing shenanigans of power players that are working from the inside against his anti-corruption fight.
“We are also counting on the experience and dexterity of the new Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, whose loyalty to the President and the good of the country cannot be doubted.
“We also hope that the demonstrated integrity of retired Justice Salami would carry the day for thoroughness, fairness and justice in the interest of the anti-corruption fight.”