Governors in plot to stop Magu’s confirmation

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Seven state governors are believed to have been part of the plot to stop the Senate confirmation of Mr. Ibrahim Magu as Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

In a report from The Nation, Three of them are from the South-South, two from the South-West, two from the North and one from the South-East.

One of the governors was said to have vowed to do everything to stop Magu’s confirmation, including emptying the vault of his state.

It was learnt that the governors have also been joined by a few former ministers and ex-governors who are under investigation by the anti-graft commission.

The Red Chamber on December 15 refused to confirm Magu’s nomination for the job, citing security report.

Fresh information on the Senate action yesterday cited the seven governors as part of the Stop Magu Plot.

But in a twist, a northern state governor has launched a lobby to get Magu confirmed.

The governor is at the head of a team of lobbyists trying to prevail on some forces in the presidency to have a rethink on Magu’s choice.

Some Senators initially opposed to Magu are also said to have now backtracked from the plot and may support Magu’s re-nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Although the constitution empowers the President to re-present the name of a rejected nominee, some forces are against Magu’s re-nomination.

Investigation revealed that intrigues have heightened over whether Magu should be re-nominated by the President.

A well placed source familiar with the development said: “Magu’s travail stemmed from a deep plot within and outside the government. The rejection of his candidature on December 15 without subjecting it to plenary consideration was part of the plot fuelled by some powerful forces.

“At least about seven serving governors and their godfathers were involved in lobbying which led to the rejection of Magu.

“These governors are three from the South-South, two from the South-West, two from the North and one from the South-East. In fact, one of them has been threatening to open the vault of the state to stop Magu.

“Some of these governors are unhappy that the EFCC was closing in on them. Some are fighting a proxy war because their godfathers have been touched by the EFCC. And a few others felt disappointed that their assets have been seized by the commission.

“These governors decided to prevail on Senators from their states to block Magu’s consideration. What happened on December 15 was purely an ambush. Decision at the Executive Session was announced to the public without tabling Magu’s fate at the plenary.”

It was gathered that the northern governor leading a team of lobbyists for Magu decided to step in based on his conviction that the anti-graft war must be fought to a logical conclusion.

Another source said: “This governor has been doing a yeoman’s job to save Magu. He believes the removal of Magu might significantly slow down the anti-corruption war.

“This governor does not mind if Magu goes after him tomorrow. He has been telling officials in the presidency and APC leaders that Magu’s achievements represent the true anti-corruption agenda with which the party came to power.”

Meanwhile, some Senators might backtrack from the anti-Magu plot when the Senate resumes from Christmas break.

A Senator, who spoke in confidence, said: “Some of us have got more insights into the inter-play of factors which made the Senate to turn down Magu’s nomination. The issue is complex and it is more of a personality matter which the Senate ordinarily ought not to be dragged into.

“If the candidate is re-presented, we will certainly support him. Technically, Senator Ali Ndume was right that that the necessary parliamentary procedure was not followed in rejecting Magu.

“We had a consensus that we cannot proceed with the confirmation of Magu but we did not table it at the plenary as expected. There was a procedural error because of the larger agenda.”

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