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EFCC can arrest anybody – President backs Magu again

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The presidency has again declared support for acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made the declaration in a chat with journalists in Lagos, just days after he stated that ‘Magu is going nowhere’.

”EFCC has the absolute right to do whatever it needs to do to ensure that anybody who has committed a crime orsuspected to having committed a crime, is brought to justice”, he stated.

He also spoke on the recent face-off involving the EFCC, Department of State Service (DSS) and National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

His words: “One of the things that the President decided to do is to ensure that every agency does its work without direct interference from the President. So the President does not call the EFCC, and say, “Go and arrest Mr Ekpeyong”, no.

“And that’s one of the most important things about the style of this government, and we want the agencies to do their work. No one has showed up and called Magu and say, ‘Look go and arrest.’ That’s what it is.

”While you will find, for example, that the DG, SSS, upon the request by the Senate, wrote a security report and sent it, yet it is up to the President to decide whether he’s going to present this candidate.

”Interfering with the process of a security report is not leadership, that’s obstructing. He is not supposed to interfere. If you say, ‘Send your report’, whatever report you want to send, the man defends himself, and we still believe he is the right person for the job. That is the position that we took when he was presented the second time.

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”Of course, the Senate has had their own say on that and they are entitled to take some of the positions they are taking. But the President believes that this is the right man for the job, so he presented him the second time.

”With respect to the arrest of DG, NIA, and some of what took place, I think the fair thing to say is that the President has said that the EFCC has the absolute right to go ahead and do whatever it needs to do to ensure that anybody who has committed a crime, or who is suspected to having committed a crime, is brought to justice, and that’s the position that the EFCC has taken.

”You know the EFCC has issued a notice for the DG, NIA, and SGF to attend interview with the EFCC; but we are sure that that process would be followed to a logical conclusion.

”To ensure that you allow government agency do their business, that’s very important; that’s institution building. Look at what is happening in the US today; the President is sometimes angry with the FBI because the FBI is doing its independent work, and that’s what we hope to achieve: when you see countries where agencies are doing their work the way they are supposed to do it.”


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