Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, blamed corruption for the coronavirus disease currently ravaging the developed world.
His simplistic and rather head-scratching submission on corruption this week, is unfortunately not his first gaffe before television cameras and microphones.
A look at the three times Magu’s mouth has let him down...
1..Magu creates new office from thin air
In 2018, Magu mumbled during a public presentation before going: “The Speaker of the House of the Senate President.”
Let’s just say that office simply doesn’t exist in Nigeria’s current democratic set-up.
Nigeria operates a bicameral legislature presided by the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. "The Speaker of the House of the Senate President" is really an unknown component in our fledgling democracy.
It is one or the other.
2..Magu can’t tell the difference between an institution and a building
In 2018, Magu was guest on a ChannelsTV breakfast program when host Maupe Ogun-Yusuf asked him a question bordering on forging the EFCC into a formidable institution.
“To institutionalize the fight against corruption, it would seem that the EFCC is at the whims and caprices of whoever is at the helm of affairs, sometimes the president, sometimes it would be the person who is heading the EFCC at a point in time. How do you respond to those who say that we have not quite institutionalized the fight against corruption?” Maupe asked.
It was a question about the EFCC as an institution, but Magu interpreted the question to mean EFCC’s gleaming new N24B edifice.
“I think the fact that we have been able to put this structure in place which has been slated for commissioning today and it has gone through three administrations in the EFCC plus me. It shows we are building an institution.
“The EFCC has gone beyond individuals. I assure you we are doing our work without any manner of interference”, Magu answered.
At this point, Maupe was stunned. “Mr. Magu, are you comparing the building--physical structure—with the actual fight against corruption?”
She wanted Magu to know she was asking about an institution and not a building.
“No, the physical structure creates a better environment. It is better you stay in your own structure than occupying rented quarters to run the office. Please you need to go and see”, Magu doubled down.
“How does a building decide who you prosecute, how you prosecute the person, the manner in which you prosecute the person….”, a visibly startled Maupe wasn't about to give up.
“We just need to move forward…you have a better working environment and this helps….” Magu trailed off.
3..Magu strongly believes that coronavirus is caused by corruption
“EFCC has zero tolerance for corruption as our mandate is to kill corruption as corruption is worse than all the diseases we have now and I strongly believe coronavirus is caused by corruption," he said without wincing.
There was also that time when Magu appeared on national TV with President Buhari’s election campaign badge affixed to his breast pocket. But we aren’t going to add that to this list because, well, it’s Magu we are talking about here.