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ANALYSIS: DSS vs EFCC: Who Is Hunting The Hunter?

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Nigerians React As DSS 'Arrests' EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”Friedrich Nietzsche.

If there is anything the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is notorious for – it is the inability to put his house in order. On several occasions, his wife and nephew family have had disagreements in Aso Rock and the national embarrassments were made public.

When Abba Kyari was alive as the Chief of Staff to the president, he had series of issues with others in the same Villa. As if that was not enough, Abike Dabiri-Erewa – the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, and Isa Pantami – the Minister of Communication recently washed their buttocks in public over office space.

With different premises mentioned above, conscious Nigerians should not be surprised by the recent development between the State Security Service (SSS) headed by Magaji Bichi, and Ibrahim Magu – the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). After all, this is not the first time two Federal Agencies would be at loggerheads.

The officers of the Nigerian Army on several occasions have had a hot exchange with officers of the Nigerian Police Force. Yes, this is Nigeria. Anything goes in the administration of Buhari.

The latest between Magu’s EFCC and SSS is currently the most talked about in Nigeria as of the time of writing this piece. It is not breaking news but a disheartening story to read that same Federal Security Agencies filled with officers of Nigeria Police Force could go into ‘fight’ as Magu was reportedly arrested at the Wuse II office of the EFCC in Abuja Monday afternoon.

His convoy was stopped by armed security agents and he was taken away after about 30 minutes of arguments between the various security officials. He was promptly driven to the Aso Villa where as of the time of this piece is appearing before a panel set up by the president to review allegations against him by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami. What are the allegations, they revolve around seized assets, NAIJA NEWS understands.

Malami reportedly accused Magu of insubordination and re-looting of recovered funds. But as expected, SSS – an agency notorious for turning black to white said, No, Magu was not arrested by any SSS official.

“The Department of State Services (DSS) wishes to inform the public that it did not arrest Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as has been reported by sections of the media. The Service, has since, today, 6th July, 2020, been inundated with enquiries over the alleged arrest,” Peter Afunanya, the SSS spokesperson said in a statement.

Soon, in a statement afterwards, the EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, denied that Mr Magu was arrested – but confirmed that the EFCC boss is at the Presidential Villa to appear before a panel set up by the president to review activities of the EFCC at the villa.

“The EFCC’s boss was neither arrested nor forced to honour the invitation. A member of a legal team from the EFCC is also with him on the Panel,” Mr Oyewale said. But an average Nigerian knows that the statesman from the two spokespersons were issued out to the public as a form of damage control.

SSS is popular for not adhering to legality anyways. Rather, it answers the call of illegality when carrying out its duties. Yet, Mr Buhari has not deemed it fit to question the excesses of the most notorious security outfit. Perhaps, the presidency has forgotten that in a state of illegality, it is illegal to try being legal. While the subject of discourse today may not be about SSS, we need to ask ourselves what exactly is wrong with Magu? Who is hunting the hunter?

Is it a case that the war against corruption is getting some tractions, unlike in the past when only minions were arraigned and convicted and the big crooks got a let-off or at best a slap on the wrist if summoned at all?

Yes, Magu may have his excesses and being used by some persons in government but unarguably, Magu led EFCC now go for the ‘untouchables’. Today, Magu is investigating yesterday, should we not wait for tomorrow to try him as well? Are the bad guys fighting back both stealthily and furiously? There have been various exclusives claiming to have unearthed a massive scandal involving Magu, will he be able to clear himself?

Yes, many have raised the issue of selective prosecution, but the big question is “are those really being prosecuted corrupt or not? Let those who have been accused answer their fathers’ names. After all, Senator Shehu Sani was accused and he proudly came out unscratched. So, let others who have been accused also put the EFCC to shame if they have nothing in their cupboards.

It is interesting that today, EFCC has looked beyond exposing the corruption of politicians. It has now extended its wings to other collaborators in civil service, business and many other sectors. Again this is time for Magu to tell the world the real stuff he’s made off.

While we aren’t so certain of who is/are hunting the hunter, it is time for Magu to assert himself whether corrupt or not!