President Muhammadu Buhari has been asked to release the report of the judicial panel on former Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.
Abubakar Malami, Attorney-General of the Federation, had in 2020 petitioned the President, levelling allegations of corruption and insubordination against Magu.
He was subsequently arrested, detained and suspended as the Acting Chairman of the anti-graft agency.
A panel headed by Ayo Salami, a retired judge, was inaugurated by the President to investigate the allegations against the former EFCC boss.
But in a letter addressed to Buhari, the anti-corruption coalition expressed concern over political interference in the operations of the EFCC.
The groups, HEDA Resource Centre, Global Witness, Re: Common and The Corner House, said the failure of the Nigerian government to release the panel report on Magu months after the panel ended its sitting suggested that the whole exercise was a witch-hunt.
The petition was signed by Olanrewaju Suraju, Simon Taylor, Luca Manes and Nicholas Hildyard.
The groups said no charge had been brought against Magu, whose tenure, they described as “an exemplary period that restored confidence in Nigeria’s commitment to fighting graft”.
They called on Buhari to make sure justice is served by ensuring that Magu is charged to court if guilty or reinstated if found innocent.
“As the legal maxim goes, ‘Justice delayed, is justice denied’. If Magu has a case to answer, then let him be charged before a court and given the opportunity to defend himself in public. If there is no case to answer, then justice demands that he be reinstated,” the letter reads.
“Indeed, every day that passes without a decision being made on his fate chips another block off Nigeria’s reputation for upholding the rule of law. This not only raises questions about Nigeria’s anti-corruption fight, but has strongly suggested to the international community that Nigeria’s fight is not, in the end, serious – that instead, progress can only be made against small targets, and that once the ‘important’ begins to be held to account, the lackeys of the corrupt will be permitted to sabotage due process, with the absence of even the semblance of any subtlety.
“For the sake of Nigeria and the reputation of your Presidency, we again unequivocally urge you to weigh in and see that justice is not only done but, seen to be done in this matter.”
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