A coalition of 24 civil society organizations has condemned what they described as the biased and shameful position of three European groups on the probe of the former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, by the Presidential panel for misconduct and alleged graft.
The coalition accused the Euro group and their Nigerian ally of doing a hatchet job.
Lucas Manes of ReCommon, Nicholas Hildyard of Corner House, Simon Taylor of Globalwitness – all European organisations – and Olanrewaju Suraju of the HEDA, Nigeria, had in a joint statement faulted steps by the Justice Ayo Salami Presidential Panel to ascertain the culpability of Magu in the allegations of corruption and insubordination leveled against him by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
But Ogalagu Amaechi and Hajia Zainab Mohammed in a statement in Abuja on Saturday on behalf of the 24 CSOs, accused the global anti-graft groups of sponsoring spurious publications and blackmail against the AGF.
The statement read, “The so-called international anti-corruption group, according to our findings, were assembled by their Nigerian friends to do a hatchet job of blackmailing President Buhari’s anti-corruption war.
“These Nigerian friends who invited these ‘Oyibos’ are accomplices to the allegations leveled against Ibrahim Magu as their mission is very clear: to rubbish the creative initiatives of the Hon. Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, discharging his duties efficiently.
“Genuine anti-corruption fights are not selective and this is what the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari has demonstrated by allowing one of his chief security heads to be investigated.”
“If such weighty allegations by the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation is considered inconsequential by this purported international anti-corruption groups, then it is very clear that they are not in the status of anti-corruption fighting organizations,” the coalition stated.
It observed that the President gave Magu a fair hearing by constituting a probe panel aimed at giving him an opportunity to clear his name.
“Magu and co. should be properly investigated and charged to court if prima facia case is established against them,” it noted.