Corruption and Underdevelopment

‘Why promotion of Magu’s illegal, corrupt’

By Paul Michael, Abuja

A Professor of Criminology, Don John Omale, has said the promotion of former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, to the rank of Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police in his retirement would be ultra vires, illegal, corrupt as well as null and void if it falls within the period of his indictment by Justice Ayo Salami’s panel.

Salami’s seven-man panel was inaugurated on July 3, 2020, with a 45-day mandate to conclude its findings and submit a report on alleged infractions by Magu as acting Chairman of EFCC from 2015 to May 2020.

Magu’s suspension from office was announced on July 10, by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

A 22-point allegation against Magu titled “Flagrant Abuse of Office and Other Infractions Against EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu” was previously submitted by Malami to Buhari.

According to Malami, “the Acting Chairman of EFCC is not acting in the overall best interest of the country and the policies of this administration due to its mismanagement and lack of transparency in managing recovered assets; diversion of recovered assets for personal enrichment; neglecting to investigate the P & ID case as directed by the President; flagrant disobedience to directives and to court orders due to the following;

“Final Report of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets (PCARA): mismanagement and lack of transparency in managing recovered assets: mismanagement of recovered assets and diversion for personal enrichment: an investigation of P&ID: failure to provide timely response on the investigation of cases/ individuals relating to legal/consultancy fees in The Paris Club Refunds to states & LGAs: threatening of judicial officers: and petitions against the acting chairman.”

It, however, took the Salami panel over three months to conclude its findings with lots of drama that followed the leaking of its activities to some online mediums despite being done in secrecy. The report of the panel, which was submitted on November 20, 2020, to President Muhammadu Buhari, is still undisclosed to the public. Sources, however, said Magu was indicted on the White Paper.

Despite his indictment and retirement from the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) on May 5, the Police Service Commission (PSC) on Monday said Ibrahim Magu and seven other Commissioners of Police have been promoted to AIG.

Ikechukwu Ani, PSC spokesman, announced Magu’s elevation, adding that his promotion alongside other senior officers was approved at the 15th Plenary Meeting of the commission on Friday.

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He added acting DIG John Ogbonnaya Amadi was appointed a substantive Deputy Inspector General of Police, while Zama Bala Senchi was also appointed a Deputy Inspector General of Police.

He said, “The Plenary Meeting which began on Wednesday, May 11, 2022 was presided over by Alhaji Musiliu Smith, Chairman of the Commission and former Inspector General of Police. DIG Amadi, currently acting, replaced late DIG Joseph Egbunike and will be representing the South East in the Force Management team while DIG Senchi was the most senior in the AIG cadre.

“Other decisions taken by the Commission at the Plenary were the promotion of 57 Superintendents of Police earlier skipped when their mates were promoted to the next rank of Chief Superintendents. Other categories of Superintendents of Police such as the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria, Course 4, Inspectors Course 37 and regular ASP’s course 25 and 26 were also promoted to Chief Superintendents having met established requirements.

“The Commission also promoted 1698 Assistant Superintendents of Police (ASP) to Deputy Superintendents of Police, 6119 Inspectors who attended the recent Departmental Selection Board (DSB) were promoted to ASP11 while 1965 ASP11 were confirmed ASPs. The Commission also approved the conversion of 19 Engineers from General Duty to Specialists and upgraded to the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police which is the statutory entry level for Pilots and Aircraft maintenance engineers in line with Aviation scheme of service.”

The eight Commissioners of Police promoted to AIGs with Magu include Abraham Egong Ayim, Okunlola Kola Kamaldeen, Andrew Amieengheme, Akeera Mohammed Younous, Celestine Amechi Elumelu, Ngozi Vivian Onadeko, and Danladi Bitrus Lalas.

Reacting to the promotion, Prof Omale who spoke exclusively to The Trumpet, said Magu’s promotion would be in order if he was due for the promotion before his indictment.

He, however, said the PSC would be promoting and glorifying corruption in NPF if Magu’s became due for promotion within the period of his indictment.

He said, “If Magu was due for promotion from Commissioner of Police to the rank of AIG before his indictment and had taken all the qualifying course examinations and interviews but the promotion was delayed or was not released before his indictment, he is legally qualified to be promoted to the said rank of AIG with effect to the due date.

“This is possible because his indictment can’t affect what he was due for before the indictment, because the law (or his indictment) can not take retroactive effect.

“However, if his due date for promotion from Commissioner of Police to AIG falls within the period of his indictment, then the promotion to AIG, is procedurally ultra vire, illegal, corrupt, and null and void.”

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