The suspension of the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of Nigeria, Ibrahim Magu, has once again resurrected a discussion and thus the search for a more credible personality who can competently head the anti-gaft agency and help drive it to achieve its goals in the interest of Nigeria.
Established in the late 80s, the EFCC is the arm of state vested with the mandate to Investigate and prosecute economic and Financial Crimes including bank frauds, tax evasion, capital market fraud, futures market frauds, among others. It was also to serve as the national coordinator for anti-money laundering; serve as the designated Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit; and ensure the implementation of provisions of the Advance Fee Fraud Act, Failed Banks Decree, Money Laundering Act and the Banks and other Financial Institutions Decree.
President Buhari suspended Magu on Tuesday July 7, 2020 following allegations of gross misconduct. It is instructive to note that almost all those who have preceded Magu were also either suspended, dismissed or had to be forced to resign from office due to one case of corruption or misconduct allegations against them.
As a matter of fact, the leadership of the EFCC has over the years been riddled with corruption, and this is why some key stakeholders, including continental business associations have joined the call for the appointing authority – the President, to look beyond his usual circles for a replacement for Magu.
The Pan-African Business Forum (PABF) – a multilateral, private sector driven organization founded by a group of statesmen and new generation of entrepreneurs from across the continent is suggesting to President Mahamudu Buhari to consider entrusting the now vacant position of EFCC Chairman to Alhaji Yusuf Yabo – an avowed statesman with impeccable track record in handling economic and financial crime.
In a release, the leadership of the PABF said there is no doubt now that Economic and Financial Crimes Commission needs a new direction in leadership, “and after trying several past police commissioners, maybe it is time to consider a candidate from other sectors of the economy. And that is where we at the PABF think Alhaji Yusuf Yabo can make a difference.”
The Forum is of the view that Alhaji Yabo is the man who can clean up the image of the EFCC and inject the much needed professionalism into the Commission’s operations.
They believe he is the most credible candidate for for the job at this particular point in time in Nigeria’s history.
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“We at the PABF believe that with a personality like Alhaji Yabo at the helm of affairs at the EFCC, Nigeria’s economy will be sanitized to boost the possibility of attracting more investors to Nigeria and with ECOWAS and Africa as the larger beneficiaries,” they stated.
They also believe the era of appointing former Police and Military chiefs to the chairmanship of the EFCC have not helped Nigeria. This is evident in how they all left office in the shadow of one corruption case or the other.
“We believe Alhaji Yabo – a former customs commissioner, should also be tried. He has not been cited in any corruption throughout his days at customs. We at the PABF think that if Nigeria gets it better tomorrow, Africa will get it better and development would be guaranteed. It is a fact that when Nigeria is on top it affects every other African country”.
They argued that the international institutional network of Alhaji Dahiru YABO can never be over emphasized, as he stands the possibility of drawing some good friendly support from the USA, Europe and Asia, among other places. This will form basic requirements towards discharging set goals and performance for a new EFCC Chairman.
The Pan African Business Forum is a private initiative, devised by Africans, to accelerate the socio-economic development of the continent, through a combination of carefully considered programs and projects developed both by Africans locally, and in collaboration with development partners outside of the continent.
The Forum’s activities involve lobbying for a better operating environment for businesses which are of mutual benefit to both those businesses and their host countries; actually securing the requisite funding for projects and programs that can further this objective and ensure that those projects and programs are implemented for the best possible positive effect.
By Jeorge Wilson Kingson