President Muhammadu Buhari still believes that the acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu, is the right person for the job.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said this in an interview with journalists in Lagos Friday. His spokesman, Laolu Alande, released the transcript of what he called the third part of the interview, to State House reporters Tuesday night.
Osinbajo said while the Senate, which had refused to confirm Magu as substantive chairman of the EFCC, is entitled to taking any position; Buhari, who has the prerogative to decide his fate, believes that he is the right man for the job.
He said Buhari, in order to display good leadership, did not interfere with the indicting report on Magu to the Senate by the Department of State Service. “While you will find, for example, that the DG, SSS, upon the request by the Senate, wrote a security report and sent it, yet it is up to the President to decide whether he’s going to present this candidate. “Interfering with the process of a security report is not leadership, that’s obstructing.
He is not supposed to interfere. If you say, “Send your report”, whatever report you want to send, the man defends himself, and we still believe he is the right person for the job. That is the position that we took when he was presented the second time. “Of course, the Senate has had their own say on that and they are entitled to take some of the positions they are taking. But the President believes that this is the right man for the job, so he presented him the second time,” the vice president said. Osinbajo disagreed with the interviewers that the fact that the DSS wrote such a damming report on Magu indicated a crack in the administration. He stated:
“That’s not true. Let me put it this way; first let’s take the Magu example. One of the things that the President decided to do is to ensure that every agency does its work without direct interference from the President.
“So the President does not call the EFCC, and say, “Go and arrest Mr Ekpeyong”, no. And that’s one of the most important things about the style of this government, and we want the agencies to do their work.
No one has showed up and called Magu and say, ‘Look go and arrest.’ That’s what it is.” Speaking about the arrest of the former Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke, Osinbajo said the president did dictate to the EFCC on whom to arrest. With respect to the arrest of (former) DG, NIA, and some of what took place, I think the fair thing to say is that the President has said that the EFCC has the absolute right to go ahead and do whatever it needs to do to ensure that anybody who has committed a crime, or who is suspected to having committed a crime, is brought to justice, and that’s the position that the EFCC has taken. “You know the EFCC has issued a notice for the DG, NIA, and SGF to attend interview with the EFCC; but we are sure that that process would be followed to a logical conclusion.
“To ensure that you allow government agency do their business, that’s very important; that’s institution building. Look at what is happening in the US today.
The President is sometimes angry with the FBI because the FBI is doing its independent work, and that’s what we hope to achieve, when you see countries where agencies are doing their work the way they are supposed to do it, he explained.