Magu: Buhari dumps security report, to lobby Senate

There are indications that President Muhammadu Buhari is set to commence lobbying of the Senate for the screening and final confirmation of Ibrahim Magu as substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

A top presidency official, who pleaded anonymity, told to our correspondent that the President had not given up on the nomination of Magu and will do everything possible to ensure that he is cleared by the Senate.

According to the presidential aide, President Buhari has high confidence in the job that Magu is doing in the anti-graft agency and is not ready to substitute him with any other person. “What happened is that there was no lobbying for Magu and that is why he failed even for the second time.

The President did not get to NASS. But he is expected to do that for him. “The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice would have lobbied for him but his hands are tied because of his frosty relationship with the National Assembly. You have to sympathize with the AGF,” the source noted.

The Senate on Wednesday last week rejected the nomination of Magu for the second time following a report by the Department of State Security (DSS) which alleged that the nominee lacks integrity to lead the country’s anti-corruption agency. Magu’s nomination was first turned down by the Senate on December 15, 2016, based on a security report by the DSS.

The report by the DSS says Magu’s antecedents and his conduct after his appointment as the anticorruption czar, made him ineligible to hold the office in full capacity.

The DSS report concluded then that: “Magu has failed the integrity test and will eventually constitute a liability to the anticorruption drive of the present administration.”

And a freshly leaked recent memo sent by the Service to the AGF, again, alluded to this and also raised concerns that Magu might be the owner of two houses in the nation’s capital, Abuja. The leaked document also alleged that the embattled chairman was almost fired six years ago and that the Service has not seen any evidence that Magu has changed.

The acting EFCC Chairman has held the position since November 2015 when the former chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Lamorde, was relieved of his appointment.

Sunday Telegraph reliably learnt that President has concluded plans to represent Magu to the Senate for the third time with follow up lobbying by a few strategic aides who understand the inner workings of the red chamber in order to ensure that the nominee is finally confirmed.

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