The cold war between the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Malam Abubakar Malami and the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, on Wednesday took a worrisome dimension.
Malami, who had consistently played down the alleged feud, yesterday opened as he accused Magu of stifling of the Federal Government’s anti-corruption crusade.
Malami and Magu who have seemingly been locked in a bitter disagreement over prosecution of some past governors that the EFCC investigated for alleged corrupt practices.
Before yesterday, the two key officials in the President Muhammadu Buhari, had denied that there were squabbles between them.
However, the AGF on Wednesday in Abuja said that, “Magu’s ignoble role led to the suspension of Nigeria from the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Unit.”
The Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Unit is an informal network of national financial intelligence units (FIUs) that collect information on suspicious financial activity from the financial industry and other entities or professions are required to report transactions suspected of being money laundering or terrorism financing.
In a statement issued by Malami through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Comrade Salihu Isah, the AGF lamented that Magu’s refusal to separate the office of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) from the EFCC was responsible for Nigeria’s suspension from the global group.
Malami said: “It is a sad tale to tell how the Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu-led EFCC has frustrated these efforts and even had to resort to blackmail in some instances oftentimes, alleging that the AGF and the Ministry were all out to impede the government’s anti-corruption drive.
Magu and other EFCC officials; and atimes through online publications; had at one time or the other accused the minister of trying to compromise the war.
“They have always perceived the Office of AGF as a threat instead of addressing the issues related to the best strategy to fighting corruption advocated by the AGF.
“As a result of the new occurrences in global circle, it is pertinent that the EFCC cannot continue to be dogmatic on its stand.
It can’t shy away from the needful. The current reality is that, Nigeria must not remain a pariah in the anti-corruption space.
This is very germane at this point,” he said.
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