There is every reason to be sad about the recent special promotion given to Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, from Assistant Commissioner of Police to Deputy Commissioner of Police by the Police Service Commission. Not only does the promotion violate extant rules, regulations and guidelines for promotions in the Nigeria Police Force, it's also going to undermine discipline in the Force, where officers morale is presently at very low ebb due to incessant special promotions given to juniors, far above their seniors. The special promotion to Magu also portends grave danger for the anti-corruption campaign.
One of the mistakes of past administrations is the appointment of officers on the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police to head the EFCC. Although the EFCC Act allows for officers of this rank (retired or serving) to head the EFCC, representatives of the Force in the EFCC Board is stipulated not to be below the rank of an Assistant Inspector General of Police. This apparently shows the EFCC Act as defective, which also calls for an urgent amendment by the National Assembly. Only Farida Waziri was appointed as EFCC Chairman on the rank of Assistant Inspector General of Police which she retired. The maturity she led the EFCC during her time before she was unceremoniously relieved of her appointment underscores the mistakes in appointing persons of lower ranks.
Nuhu Ribadu and Ibrahim Lamorde were appointed EFCC Chairmen as Assistant Commissioner of Police. Ribadu was later given special promotions to Assistant Inspector General of Police, while his course mates were still Chief Superintendent of Police and Assistant Commissioner of Police during his tenure as EFCC Chairman. Ibrahim Lamorde, who is currently a Commissioner of Police also has course mates languishing in the Assistant Commissioner of Police rank. It is apparent Ibrahim Magu who worked under Ribadu and Lamorde had learned from the duo how to do things wrongly.
One of the greatest mistakes of the present administration is appointing Magu as EFCC Chairman. His non confirmation more than six months after he was given an acting appointment in total violation of the Public Service Rules on acting appointment reveals that the government doesn't have confidence in him. Beyond media trials and cases the Presidency initiated or have interest, Magu has shown to be out of his depth in initiating ideas that will move the EFCC forward. Media trials, campaigns and road shows will not fight corruption. The Police Service Commission also has several petitions against its leadership Sir Mike Okiro and Acting Secretary Mr. Emmanuel I be lying fallow in the EFCC. Magu lobbying for, and receiving a special promotion from the Police Service Commission reveals that he had compromised their investigations.
The President should as a matter of urgency, remove Ibrahim Magu as EFCC Chairman. His opposition to the Money Laundering Bill by the President currently before the Senate points to the fact that he's not on the same page with the President in the anti corruption crusade. The President should also order the reversal of his special promotion and several others by the Police Service Commission in recent times for the interest of justice.
Ifere Paul is an activist and development consultant. He writes from China.