Professor Itse Sagay, chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Corruption (PACAC), says the senate victimised Ibrahim Magu, chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by refusing to confirm him.
Sagay said the allegations against Magu were concocted to give a wrong impression about the anti-graft boss.
He said senator Shehu Sani, as a human rights activist, should have defended Magu’s honour when his nomination as EFCC chairman was being rejected by the Senate.
Sani had on Wednesday defended the senate’s indictment of Babachir Lawal, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), over corruption allegations.
The senator said Lawal was invited to appear before the committee, and that the secretary of the SGF acknowledged the invitation.
“Corruption in the Judiciary and others is treated with insecticide while corruption in the Presidency is treated with deodorant,” Sani had said.
In reaction, Sagay told newsmen that, “With regards to the SGF, I don’t really know much about that. My own view is that they should give him a hearing and if at the end of it, they consider that he’s liable, then they should come to the conclusion and condemn him if they want. But they should give him a hearing. That’s all.
“I don’t really know the basis of that comment he made. I think it’s a political statement. It’s not factual.
“He’s a political antagonist of his own party. He doesn’t get on well with the governor of his state, and he doesn’t get on with the Federal Government. So it is his political battle that is colouring his statement. It’s not factual.
“I don’t know too much about the Secretary to the Federal Government, I must confess that. I don’t know much about that.
“But I know the case of Magu thoroughly. And the allegations are spurious. There is no reality in them. The whole thing was distorted to give a wrong impression about Magu.
“The allegations are all false. He did not rent a flat by himself; he was put in a house by government. So what is his business if government paid more than it should have paid?
“It’s all just cooked up to prevent him from being appointed. So I don’t see why a senator should attack the presidency for returning Magu’s nomination to the Senate.
“I expected Senator Sani as a human rights person, as far as I know, a person from the civil society, that he should have stood up for the truth. He should have known that Magu was victimised deliberately. He should have stood against that.
“He should have stood for the oppressed person who has been doing a marvelous work in the fight against corruption. But this time he stood on the wrong side.
“Maybe the Senate has its own interest which is contrary to the interest of the country. And he’s standing with that Senate in that regard. So, that’s his business.”