As the plot thickens to stop the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, from becoming the substantive chair of the Commission, three names have popped up as his possible replacements, according to The Nation.
They are a former boss of the anti-graft agency, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hamid Ali (rtd) and a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Amodu Ali, who is famous for investigating the $180million Halliburton bribery scandal.
Investigation by a correspondent revealed that the decision to prop up their names was part of the grand plot by the powerful forces opposed to Magu to stop his re-nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari. More names might also be propped up in the next few days. But the Transparency International- Nigeria and some civil society groups yesterday protested non-confirmation of Magu by the Senate.
The TI and others described the security report upon which the Senate based its decision as “curious.” A top source said: “These forces do not want Magu re-nominated by the President when the Senate returns from Christmas break.
“This is why they have recommended some people (at least three for now) who have impeccable integrity like Magu as the next substantive chairman of EFCC.
“These are the Comptroller- General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hamid Ali (rtd), a former Chairman of EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, and a retired Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Amodu Ali who investigated the $180million Halliburton bribery scandal.
“But President Buhari is just listening to arguments for and against Magu. The ball is in the court of the President.” There were however fears last night that these forces might go to court if Buhari re-nominates Magu.
"They are trying to hang on to the report of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) to seek some ambiguous reliefs in court.”
It was also learnt that pro- Magu sympathisers are also pressing buttons to have the ears of the President to stick to the Acting EFCC chairman.
Another source added: “Representations have been made in the last 24 hours to those close to the President to insist on Magu. “Those sympathetic to Magu actually approached an influential governor to intercede and let the President get a second opinion on the DSS report.
“This situation is dicey as I talk to you because both sides are embroiled in intense politics of survival. “Those against Magu were busy yesterday celebrating that they have boxed the Acting EFCC chairman to a corner.”