We the undersigned condemn the cowardly armed attack and apparent assassination attempt against Mr Ibrahim Magu, the Acting Chair of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The armed attack, which took place at his residence on the night of the 12th December, resulted in the murder of one of Mr Magu’s Police guards. We understand this is the second attempt to target Mr Magu. In August of this year the offices of the EFCC in Abuja were also attacked.
This is a deplorable act and our thoughts are with the family of the murdered police officer and with Mr Magu and his family. We would like to celebrate and stand in solidarity with the work of Mr Magu and his EFCC colleagues, not to mention other key players in Nigeria’s anti-corruption fight – the sentiment of which is probably best captured by quoting recent remarks of Mr Magu himself:
“For those of us on this side; in the anti-corruption agencies of government, in the media, and civil society, the dagger is drawn and I believe I am speaking the mind of everyone on this side that we intend to neither retreat nor surrender in our noble intention to cure our country of the evils of corruption. For us as a country, the fight against corruption is a ‘do or die’ affair; we have to win the battle or die trying.”
Acting Chair Magu is right. The EFCC has been one of the leading agencies investigating grand-scale corruption in Nigeria, investigating and prosecuting corrupt politicians and their middlemen and seizing their assets. The EFCC, under his leadership, has also been investigating Eni and Shell’s corrupt deal to obtain Nigeria’s largest off-shore oil block, OPL 245. It is clear that the EFCC’s fight against the corrupt has created many enemies. The Nigerian Authorities should leave no stone un-turned in their efforts to investigate and hold to account those behind this dreadful crime. Above all, the Nigerian anti-corruption effort must continue and be facilitated by all who can help, to bring those who have stolen the wealth of the Nigerian people to account.
- Global Witness
- HEDA Resource Centre
Ava Lee, Senior Communications Advisor, Anti-Corruption
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