As Ahmadu Bello Hall Of Fame Honored Nigeria’s Anti-graft Czar, Ibrahim Magu

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By Dr. Abdullahi Bala Isa

One thing that is not in doubt among Nigerians irrespective of their political leanings is the accomplishment of the apex anti-corruption agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the last five years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The individual behind this huge success is the acting Chairman of the agency, Mr Ibrahim Magu. Even his opponents have given testimony to his excellent investigative skills, resilience, spartan life style, and uncommon boldness and fearlessness.

As a police officer who rose through the ranks, Magu carved a niche for himself as a blockbuster anti-crime fighter with exceptional skills of foulproof investigations. It was therefore not surprising that he excelled when he was deployed to the EFCC after it was created by President Olusegun Obasanjo regime.

Ahmadu Bello Hall Of Fame Honored Ibrahim Magu

During the course of his anti-graft wars, he called the bluff of many politicians and politically-exposed persons. He was hated by these category of Nigerians but loved by good spirited individuals who share his angsts against corruption that has taken the country to ransom.

One of such Nigerians is President Buhari who didn’t waste any time in identifying Magu’s exceptional anti-graft prowess and thereby appointed him to lead his anti-corruption crusade.

After five turbulent years mired with myriads of sabotage, Magu is still blazing the trail – investigating, arresting, prosecuting, jailing corrupt Nigerians and forfeiting their multi-billion stolen assets to the country.

It was in recognition of these milestones that the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria’s Centre for Documentation and Research (Arewa House) inducted Magu into the Muhammadu Buhari Integrity Hall of Fame.

ALSO READ: Ibrahim Magu – Nigeria’s Anti-Corruption Czar Maligned but Maverick

Anti-Money Laundering courses with the Federal Bureau of Investigations; Anti-Terrorism and Combating the  Financing of Terrorism with the United State Department of Justice, United States Department of  Homeland Security, amongst others.

He served in various Committees and participated in a number of ad hoc assignments which  include Technical Committee on the Establishment of the Nigeria Finance  Intelligence Unit; member,  Federation Accounts Allocation Committee; member Presidential Task Force on the  Decongestion of Eastern Ports; member, Federal Government  Committee on Cyber Security Legislation in Nigeria.

Magu is currently a member  of the Presidential  Investigation Committee on the Procurement of Firearms from 2007 – 2015. Magu, was born in Maiduguri township on 5 May 1962 to the family of Mallam Mustafa Magu and Hajiya Bintu Magu.

He attended Yarwa Practicing Primary School in Maiduguri between 1969 and 1975. He studied for his West African School Certificate at  Government Secondary School Waka Biu from 1975 to 1980.

To further his education, Magu obtained ‘A’ level Certificate from the School of Basic Studies, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria in 1982 and between 1983 and 1986 studied for a degree in Accounting at the Institute of Administration, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science  Honors in Accounting.

He served as the NYSC Accountant at the Benue State Health Services Management Board, Makurdi and in 1987 was appointed full time Accountant II by the Borno State Government where  he served in various Ministries and Departments in the State Government as an Accountant and rose to become a Zonal Accountant, State Ministry of Education, Biu from where he voluntarily resigned to join the the Nigerian police.

He was promoted Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) in 2003. In a bid to sanitize the country and ensure best international practice in government  business, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria commissioned a Joint Special  Presidential Task Force on Good Governance in June 2006. Mr. Magu was deployed  as its Supervising officer and Head of Administration.

In 2009, Magu was redeployed to the Nigeria Police and posted to State Criminal  Investigations Department Ekiti State Police Command as its deputy head. He also served in the Anti-Fraud Investigations Section of the Force Criminal Investigations  Department between 2010 and 2012; and was also the Second-in-Command, Special Investigation Bureau  (SIB), Nigeria Police Force Headquarters.

Magu was promoted Assistant Commissioner of Police in September 2012 and posted briefly  to Anambra State Command as Assistant Commissioner of Police (Operations), before he was  redeployed to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission  as the Deputy Director, Directorate of Professional Responsibility.

Professor Itsey Sagay, chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) had once said this: “Magu is a man of integrity. They know that Magu has been outstanding in the fight against corruption and that his achievements have simply been extremely praiseworthy.

He’s been consistent; he’s committed. He’s a man of high integrity and his productivity has been high.” The director of the centre, Dr Shuaibu Shehu Aliyu the premier university’s honor of Magu was due to his “record of integrity, transparency and honesty in his duties.”

He said many corrupt Nigerians that lived in the world of impunity and considered untouchable in the past had been brought to book. “We are impressed by the courage and integrity of Magu and the record-breaking results that the EFCC has garnered since he assumed his role in 2015,” he said.

He said, “Arewa House is all about honesty, integrity, transparency, and reputation which the late Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello exemplified.” On his part, the anti-graft czar dedicated the award to officials of the commission, saying the EFCC would not relent in the pursuit of its core values.

“It is quite humbling to be found worthy of an induction into the Integrity Hall of Fame of our great president,” he said. “President Muhamadu Buhari, no doubt, has established great reputation globally as an ardent and committed anticorruption fighter.

“His appointment as first-ever African Union anti-corruption fighter bears great credence to his commitment to the fight against corruption. I, therefore, consider it a great honour to be inducted into such an integrity realm by the Arewa House.

“Very recently, the EFCC made loud statements of its commitment to integrity by the action of its Sokoto Zonal Head, who declined a bribe offer of N100million. He could do this because of the core values of the EFCC that emphasise professionalism, courage and integrity.

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We will continue to ply this route and also sanction any officer that veers off the cherished values of the Commission. “As I always emphasise, this task is a public task. The public ownership of the fight against corruption will greatly build consciousness in every Nigerian that we can only make greater progress if we fight the menace together.”

Magu’s checkered history is replete with accomplishments and service to humanity. In 1990, Magu joined the Nigeria Police Force as an  Assistant Superintendent of Police.

After the mandatory eighteen months of training as a cadet trainee, he was posted to Rivers State  Police Command where he served in various capacities as Crimes Investigation Officer, Commander Patrol and Guards and Unit Commander in the Police Mobile Force Unit. He has also served at the  Police Force Headquarters Kam Salem House Lagos in 1998.

He was the Coordinator, Nigeria Police Building Society before moving on to the newly established Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police Criminal Investigations Department (CID) where he served as a team leader in charge of Financial Crimes, Money Laundering and Advance Fee Fraud investigation.

In 2002, he was promoted Superintendent of Police (SP) and posted to Ekiti Police  Command; he also served briefly in the FCT Command Headquarters as the  officer in charge of  General Investigation and Monitoring Unit before he was seconded to the newly established Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in May 2003 where he was appointed its pioneer Head of Administration and Finance.

He later headed the Economic Governance Section of the Commission, dealing with general investigations, financial crimes, and money laundering. Magu has also blazed the trail at the international level.

He was engaged with the United States Postal Inspection Service, the FBI, the US Securities, and Exchange Commission, the US Financial Crime  Enforcement Unit (FINCENT), the South African Anti-Corruption Unit (Scorpion)  and the Hong Kong Anti-Corruption Agency, on training and/or joint investigations.

He has also collaborated with the Metropolitan Police, London, Her  Majesty’s Customs and Excise and Scotland Yard. He also worked with the United States government in the WILBROS Bribery Investigation, the Halliburton Investigations.

He has also closely worked with the CBN, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Nigeria  Customs Service, the Nigeria Finance Intelligence Unit, Department of State Services, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), the Code of Conduct Bureau and the Nigeria Police.

This honor done to Magu by one of Nigeria’s premier and the prestigious university is an honor to the north where he comes, to Nigeria and all anti-graft lovers across the world.

Dr Isa is President, Gamji Members Association


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