By Wilson Uwujaren, Head, Media & Publicity, EFCC.
The Acting Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, on Tuesday, November 5, 2019 received the Special African Anti-Corruption Crusader award by the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council, AU-ECOSOCC.
The award was part of AU-ECOSOCC’s strong determination to support President Muhammadu Buhari and other African Heads of States and Governments, in the inevitable ‘War on Corruption’ in Africa.
It would be recalled that the African Union, AU, in 2018, appointed President Muhammadu Buhari as its Anti-corruption Champion. The AU-ECOSOCC Nigeria, in fulfillment of its statutory responsibility decided to domesticate the policies, programmes and frameworks of the AU in Nigeria, culminating in the prestigious award of Special African Anti-Corruption Crusader on Magu, the first of its kind.
In his welcome address, the Nigerian AU-ECOSOCC representative, Dr. Tunji John Asaolu congratulated Magu for the award, noting that he was chosen on merit.
“Let it be known to all of us, if we don’t kill corruption within the continent, corruption will kill the continent”, Asaolu said.
He described the EFCC boss as a fearless and dogged anti-corruption crusader whose courage to fighting corruption, even, amongst high level individuals, is uncommon.
The Nigerian AU-ECOSOCC representative congratulated Magu for the “well deserved award targeted at celebrating his courageous service as a lieutenant of President Muhammadu Buhari in the War on Corruption in Nigeria which is coming into its own as the main force promoting a most noble, acceptable and positive initiative that will change Africa’s social, economic and political history forever.”
He called on the African leaders, civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations and other civil right organizations across Africa to come together and fight corruption as a veritable pathway to the achievement of AU Agenda 2063
According to him, “the region cannot keep corruption and at the same time yearn for development”.
Speaking at the event, the chairman of the occasion, Mr. Tayo Oyetibo, SAN, expressed optimism that “corruption can be defeated in Africa” noting that “Magu has all it takes to lead the fight as he is one that will not compromise when it comes to fighting corruption”.
In his remark, Prof. Yemi Akinseye George, SAN, who could not hide his excitement on the numerous achievements recorded by the EFCC under the watch of Magu noted that the EFCC boss remained an outstanding leader as far as fighting economic and financial crimes and corruption is concerned.
George, who is a professor of Public Law and President, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, praised Magu for putting in his best to make Nigeria a corrupt-free nation saying that, “he deserves to be reappointed”.
Also speaking, Abozer E.M Elligai who was the Special Guest of Honour at the occasion expressed happiness for witnessing the ceremony which he said was a plus for Nigeria and Africa.
Responding, a visibly elated Magu dedicated the award to the victims of corruption in Africa.
The anti-graft czar thanked the organizers of the award for counting him worthy and promised to do more until Nigeria and Africa are free from corrupt practices.
The award ceremony which took place at Ladi Kwali Hall, Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, attracted dignitaries including His Excellency Abozer E.M Ellidai, Presiding Officer, AU-ECOSOCC; Festus Keyamo, Minister of State for Labour and Employment and Abike Dabiri Erewa, Chairman, Nigerian Diaspora Commission.