The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has faulted the delay in arraigning former Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, over allegations of fraud, saying his recent release by the Presidential probe panel remains a dent in the Federal Government’s anti-corruption fight.
It explained that Magu’s release had begun raising public apprehensions over the integrity of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption in the country.
The embattled former EFCC boss, detained on July 6 by Presidential probe panel on alleged 24 cases bordering on corruption that was levelled against him by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, was released yesterday’s evening in Abuja.
However, the opposition party, through a statement by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Thursday, alleged that the delay through Magu’s unceremonial release was an attempt to give him a soft landing in order to cover up for certain top officials of the administration indicted by the suspended EFCC chairman, during the panel’s probe.
The party noted that Magu’s on-going investigations and the direction of the apex government without proper arraignment on the matter might follow a similar pattern of other corruption cases which were allegedly covered by the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) government.
“Our party holds that where there are no undesirable underhand dealings, any government that is committed to the fight against corruption, in such a manner that the Buhari Presidency wants the world to believe it does, should have since perfected its processes and arraign the suspended EFCC acting Chairman in court, particularly with the weight of allegations and revelations unearthed at the Presidential panel.
“The fact is that the allegations of fraud, including alleged stealing of billions of naira recovered by the EFCC among other accusations, which also include alleged transfer of stolen money to certain government officials, are already in the public domain.
“The expectation of Nigerians, therefore, is for the Federal Government to immediately arraign Magu before a court of competent jurisdiction and prosecute him in line with the dictates of our laws.
“Nigerians are apprehensive that the EFCC investigation might go the way of the huge cover-up in the handling of cases of alleged unbridled treasury looting in the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) among others where indicted officials were given a pat on the wrist without prosecution.
“Our party charges the Buhari Presidency to note that the world is watching the handling of the EFCC fraud case with keen interest. The Federal Government should, therefore, take immediate steps to arraign Magu and all those indicted in the matter before a court of competent jurisdiction without any further delay,” the statement read.