Institute honours ex-EFCC chair, Magu over role in P&ID case

Ogunsakin Mustapha
8 Min Read
Ibrahim Magu, former EFCC Acting Chairman

The institute says the EFCC under Mr Magu’s leadership was able to stop the enforcement of an $11.5 billion P&ID arbitration award against Nigeria.

A former acting chairperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, was on Saturday conferred highest honour of doctoral fellowship of the Institute for Governance and Leadership Studies in Africa (IGLSA).

Mr Magu who was wishunted out of office in the year 2020, alongside the current chairman of the anti-graft agency Mr Ola Olukoyede who was then the secretary of the commission is today a celebrity for his resilience and doggedness towards fighting against corruption both locally and internationally which Nigeria enjoyed in upturning the P&I.D judgement award of 11.5 billion P&ID.

The Director-General of the Institute, Lanre Adebayo, said Mr Magu’s selection for the honour was based on his roles that gave Nigeria a landmark victory at the Commercial Court of England and Wales.

According to him, the EFCC under Mr Magu’s leadership was able to stop the enforcement of an $11.5 billion P&ID arbitration award against Nigeria.

Nigeria had moved to nullify the arbitral award of $9.6 billion made in 2017 in favour of P&ID but had ballooned to $11.5 billion for an alleged breach of a gas supply and processing agreement.

According to the contract, P&ID purportedly entered into an agreement with the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources for the establishment of a gas processing plant in Calabar.

The bogus contract never kicked off but the obscure British Virgin Islands-based P&ID took Nigeria to arbitration, leading to a long-drawn legal battle that led to the $11 billion liability for Nigeria.

“The commission challenged the arbitration award against the country over a failed 2010 deal to develop a gasoline processing plant within the nation.

“At present, the federal government, policymakers and other critical stakeholders have hailed the triumph of Nigeria in the legal battle, bringing an end to the case between the Nigerian and the P&ID,” Mr Adedayo said on Saturday.

He said that deserving Nigerians, including some serving governors with quality leadership styles and friends of Nigeria were also conferred with doctorate, fellowship and membership of the institute.

Mr Adebayo said the maiden edition of the investiture of new members and fellows of the institute was a bold attempt to confront the challenges of leadership deficit in Africa.

He said it was also an attempt to commence a sustainable and tireless journey towards building a critical mass of leaders.

He said that corruption was a major governance challenge that had undermined development in the continent and had arrested development and undermined quality service delivery in Nigeria.

According to him, corruption is a result of leadership failure and weak governance institutions, citing the recent P&ID case which was decided in favour of Nigeria as a classical example.

Tinubu hailed

President Bola Tinubu [PHOTO: PRESIDENCY]
Mr Adebayo congratulated President Bola Tinubu, for the nation’s victory over the international conspiracy to defraud her of a humongous amount of money which would have threatened the country’s economy and undermine her democratically elected government.
According to him, there was no way Nigeria’s economy would have survived the removal of $11 billion, about one-third of her foreign reserves at once from the economy without dire consequences.

Magu professionalism lauded

He congratulated Mr Magu, who as Acting chairmperson of EFCC, personally led the investigation that exposed the fraud and the elite conspiracy which facilitated it.

“We wish to especially commend him because the same elite behind the scandal attempted to destroy his brilliant career because he dared to challenge these enemies of our great country.

“AIG Magu staked everything to ensure that our country got justice and her damaged reputation as a corrupt country got a reprieve.

“Indeed, a major implication of the judgement is that citizens of many of the countries, who usually describe Nigeria as corrupt, have always been active in subverting and corrupting our system to pursue their fraudulent activities without any sanction by their countries,” he said.

He lauded Mr Magu for his professionalism and patriotism while in office.

Mr Magu’s reign as acting EFCC chair between 2015 and 2020 was truncated after then Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, instigated a probe that led to his removal by then President Muhammadu Buhari. The report of the probe submitted to Mr Bubari in November 2020 was never made public to date.

“Contrary to the narrative being promoted in some quarters, the EFCC under the Ibrahim Magu-led administration pursued the investigation on the matter with professionalism and high sense of patriotism.

“The conviction of many of the local actors for their role in the fraud was the major foundation needed to secure Nigeria’s victory in the United Kingdom,” he said.

Acceptance speech
In his acceptance speech, the former EFCC boss said the recognition was not just a personal achievement but a testament to the collective efforts of the dedicated individuals at EFCC and all stakeholders in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

Mr Magu said that fighting corruption in Nigeria was not an easy task, adding that it was a patriotic and selfless service to one’s fatherland considering the pervasiveness of corruption.

He said the fight against corruption must be pursued with vigour, saying that corruption remained the impediment against collective progress as a nation.

“The bane of corruption is the reason for the lack of adequate and sufficient dividends that come with democracy.

“Eliminate corruption from the system and you are guaranteed the basic provisions that governance offers.

“I urge the government to persevere in the relentless fight against corruption, as a corruption-free nation is the bedrock for sustainable economic growth and positive development.

“Let us work hand in hand to break free from the vicious grip of corruption and pave the way for a brighter future for Nigeria,” he said.

Awards and other recipients
NAN reports that the investiture was chaired by a former Vice-Chancellor, University of Abuja, Nuhu Yaqub, a professor, who doubles as the Chairman of the Fellowship Screening Committee.

Governor Mai Buni of Yobe State was also conferred with Doctoral Fellows award alongside Mr Magu.

The honourees include the Director-General, Nigeria Geological Survey Agency, Abdurazaq Garba; Managing Director, Crown Takaful Insurance Ltd, Nazir Song; a Director in the office of the SGF, Aliyu Ibrahim

Others are the Director-General of Amalgamated APC Support Group, Maryam Yunusa; Ibiam Oguejior, National Coordinator, Strategy Implementation Task Force for Presidential Executive Order No. 5

Also, among the honourees was a media consultant to the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Folu Olamiti.

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