Feelers from the Presidency last night revealed that the search for a new Chairman for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) may have started, following the recommendation of the Justice Ayo Salami panel for the removal of the anti-graft agency’s suspended acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu.
Presidency source also confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari is looking outside the police force in the search for the new EFCC boss, in conformity with the recommendation of the panel that probed sleaze allegations against Magu.
The source confirmed that a small search team would be constituted in the next few days to narrow down on the candidate capable of delivering the President’s dream of a corrupt-free anti-graft agency.
The source further confirmed that “the sleaze and abuse of office allegations against Magu, a commissioner of police, were overwhelming,” and that he may be put on trial.
The panel advised the president to appoint the new EFCC chairman in an interim position for two years.
In a way that suggested that the report might have nailed Magu, Salami, according to a statement by Presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, advised Buhari to consider appointing the next Chairman of EFCC from other law enforcement or security agencies, as well as core staff of the EFCC, as provided in the EFCC Establishment Act of 2004.
Salami said: “Your Excellency, permit me to say that four successive chairmen of the EFCC from inception have been drawn from the police. Therefore, in appointing a new chairman of EFCC, consideration should be given to candidates from other law enforcement or security agencies and qualified core staff of EFCC as provided in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment Act 2004).
“It is also important to point out that at the moment, 970 policemen (114 drivers, 641 mobile policemen and 215 operations), are on secondment in the EFCC.
“Therefore, an exit plan for the disengagement of the police and other personnel within two years from now should be considered. This will address the issue of non-promotion of core staff for over nine years.
“Your Excellency, our thinking here is that whoever you are appointing other than a core EFCC staff, should be in transitional capacity of two years during which period, arrangement would be made for appointment of any of the core staff who has been commended by National Crime Agency, UK and other international law enforcement for their professionalism.”
Salami thanked the president for giving members of the commission an opportunity to serve.