It is a common fight – Tunisia Foreign Minister Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja Following the spate of terrorist activities in the country, the Federal Government has called for military cooperation and intelligence sharing with the Government of Tunisia. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, made the call in Abuja at the end of the Fifth Session…
He came to see me on the sixth floor of Force Headquarters, Abuja, from the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID). I was then the Managing Director of the Police newspaper “The Dawn,” which I conceived. The newspaper was a weekly crime/security publication like no other; no wonder it won double commendation from the United Nations and the European Union and from the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua as one of the best security newspapers in the world. Meanwhile, on one of his visits, Ibrahim Magu, then a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), had come to share ideas and views on my weekly backpage column.
That was when I marked him out as one of the budding, brilliant police officers who loved to acquire knowledge, like his course-mates, Lawan Jimeta, Austin Iwar and many others. At this time, we did not strike any relationship except the cordiality of always engaging on security issues and at times fantasizing on what could be ahead.
All the same, years later, President Muhammadu Buhari’s attention was drawn to Magu’s feats as a dogged and disciplined investigator and appointment him the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). At this time, I had moved ahead in my chosen career as a security consultant and writer. In his own case, his appointment automatically made his personality to be a more pronounced public figure. I then focused my journalistic eyes on him just like I did on the founding Chairman of the commission, Mr. Nuhu Ribadu, who, like the biblical Saul, started on a good note but ended up a “disaster.” Ribadu allowed the trappings of office to sway him into thinking that the publicity the EFCC chairmanship bestowed on him was enough to cartercpault him into political office as a governor. He was dead wrong. However, what Magu has presently going for him after two years as the Acting Chairman of the commission are his humility, forthrightness and fear of God. As I researched on his personality, I discovered that Magu usually engaged in dry fasting thrice a week and hardly allowed anything to divert his attention from keeping his prayer sessions as a Muslim. His political tribulations have not deterred him neither have they shaken his resolve to continue to fight the octopus called corruption in Nigeria.
I have come across hundreds of senior police officers as a crime journalist, he easily falls into the bracket of unique officers who cherish their father’s name and want their intergrity fully intact, no matter the situation. Close contact with him easily exposes him as a good conversationalist and one who is not pretentious but firm to the extreme of stubbornness. Once, I was in his office to secure an interview, and while there I seized the privilege and pleasure to study his temperament and disposition while attending to visitors and colleagues. The way he relates with his colleagues attests to the success story of the commission so far. The solid foundation laid by past leaders has helped him to further better and improve upon the EFCC during his tenure. He is a very thorough officer with an eagle eye for detail. On this particular occasion, one of his investigating officers had submitted his final report and the next thing I saw him do was to pick a very big dictionary, he opened it to confirm and correct a particular word, which was mistakenly used in the report he was going through. As he read through the lines, striking off some words and replacing them, it became obvious that he was a left-handed person.
“He prances like a lion that is fearless and stings like a scorpion” so he has been described. No wonder, all the “big” names in politics, security and business circles that he has arrested must have been deceived by his small physique. Magu is definitely like the biblical David that is not afraid to wrestle via investigation and bring down any corrupt political or business Goliath.
He is indeed a gift not only to the Nigeria police but also to the nation. He believes that, though corrupt politicians would fight him, his achievements in the course of his tenure at the EFCC would speak for him if not now then in the near future. Those who spoke about him said he is an expansionist who has opened up more offices for the commission and has recruited more officers than any of his predecessors.
Magu, his colleagues say, is a reliable superior who looks after the welfare and well-being of his subordinates to enhance their efficiency. This is the reason why it is very difficult to find any agent presently in the commission found culpable of corrupt practices. If there is anything that gives him sleepless nights, it is the striking off of the commission’s cases and the loss of cases at the courts across the country.
Nigerians are watching his next step as he engages another opponent in the fight against corruption before a court, as he continues to champion the recovery of looted billions of Naira.
l commiserate with one of our notable readers, Mr. lkechukwu Ani, the Media Director to the Police Service Commission, who lost his mother, Mrs. Beatrice Nwakaego Ani, née Eneh, of Umuozoke, Umufele, Ibite, Amaeke, Ngwo, Enugu State, at the age of 70 years.