Referee of Anti-Corruption Game Also Captain of Defending Side – Dalung
By Ikeddy ISIGUZO
Former Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Selcap Dalung has likened the dilemma that awaits the next Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to “a situation where the referee of the anti-corruption game armed with the whistle and red card is the captain on the defending side”. He spoke to Opera News about the challenges an EFCC boss could face in our environment.
He added that the setting was also like a slave that goes to the funeral of another slave and sees that his grave was shallow. The slave should know that his own grave would not be different, the former Minister noted.
Dalung reflected on how every EFCC Chairman from Ribadu, Farida, Lamorde to Magu had been treated. He said there was nothing to envy in their appointment. “You cannot invite an angel to dance in the mud and expect him to return to heaven stainless. The Nigerian political climate is saturated with banana peels, where every actor is a target of diverse political guerrilla tactics,” he observed.
How should a new EFCC Chairman prepare himself for the role? “The in-coming EFCC Chairman needs more prayers instead of godfathers. He should be dedicated to work and prepare for media shenanigans. His religion should be justice. Fairness should be his tribe, while politics should be his dreaded enemy. His creed should be the rule of law,” Dalung, who was President Muhammadu Buhari’s Minister of Youth & Sports, November 2015- May 2019, told Opera News.
Being an anti-corruption chief was a challenging assignment, he said, especially as it involved the appointee watching over the activities of his supervisors. Said Dalung, “To be appointed Provost Marshal of malignant acts of those who confirm and supervise your appointment is the worst assignment anybody can ever discharged successfully, especially in a society where public office is considered “it is our own time to eat’”. He said that the matter was compounded by the fact that the EFCC boss was expected to understand that in some cases “yes we know he is a thief but he is our own thief” and therefore exempted from prosecution.
Dalung concluded thus, “I wish our new angel well as he descends into the muddy arena for a dance in a milieu where corruption is the lyrics, the judiciary is the orchestra while monstrous political cults dictate the dancing steps, their hands full of banana peels ready to strike whenever their interests are threatened”.
Magu, until last week the acting Chairman of EFCC, is under-going interrogation over his almost five-year tenure. Ayo Salami, former President of the Court of Panel, is head of a presidential panel that has been grilling Magu since 6 July 2020. Deductions about the importance of the assignment could be made from the panel sitting in the presidential villa and the urgency attached to Magu’s attendance last week.
Snippets of media reports on the proceedings of the presidential panel indicate that chances of Magu returning to the office are fading away daily.