President Muhammadu Buhari says he set up the panel to probe Ibrahim Magu, suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), in order to reiterate his government commitment to ridding the country of corruption.
He said it became imperative to investigate Magu because of the gravity of allegation levelled against the anti-graft agency.
Buhari said his when he received the report of the panel headed by Ayo Salami, retired president of the court of appeal,
He administration will block any channel that supports the growth of corruption.
He said the fight against corruption should be done without fear or favour, adding that no individual is bigger than the country.
“It was in response to the serious allegations against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission that I set up a Panel headed by the Honourable Justice Isa Ayo Salami, retired President of the Court of Appeal, via an Instrument dated 3rd July 2020 pursuant to the Tribunals of Inquiry Act (Cap T21, LFN, 2004),” he said.
”We recognize that there are more grounds to cover in the war against corruption, and we are prepared to go out to possess those lands by cutting off any stream that nourishes the seed of corruption and supports its growth.
”Let it be known that in the fight against corruption, no one is too big to tackle, as no individual is bigger than the Nigerian State!”
The president said though there is corruption at many levels of government, and nearly every stratum of our society, “the stark reality of widespread corruption becomes poignant when allegations of corruption touches on the leadership of an institution set up by law to coordinate and enforce all economic and financial crimes”.
“It is an abomination that strikes at the root, and undermines the Government’s anti-corruption programme,” he said.
”As a government, and in furtherance of our anti-corruption programme, we have since inception engaged in many reforms in removing corruption including but not limited to the enforcement of Treasury Single Account (TSA), strict implementation of the Bank Verification Number Policy and signing unto the Open Government Partnership. A lot of efforts have gone into building and development of our anti-corruption institutions.
”We have so far kept faith with our promise and shall remain committed until Nigeria triumphs over the evil of corruption, attain a prosperous economic status and surmounts her security challenges.”
The panel recommended the sack of Magu and asked Buhari to look outside the police force for the next EFCC chairman.