A rift between two top government institutions is threatening to sink President Muhammadu Buhari’s crusade against corruption. Specifically, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation are at war over the procedure for the prosecution of high-profile corruption cases. While they are wrangling, corrupt elements in the society are exploiting it to regain lost ground. Left unchecked, the feuding might fatally dent Buhari’s avowal to annihilate corruption.
Publicly, the AGF and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has accused the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission of “frustrating” the anti-corruption war, but his main target seems to be Ibrahim Magu, the acting EFCC chairman. In an unusual salvo, Malami blamed Magu for working against Buhari’s anti-corruption agenda by the EFCC’s refusal to release the case files of politically exposed persons to his office. Among other accusations, Malami fumed that the EFCC had “manipulated and misused intelligence to the detriment of the fight against corruption and financial crime in Nigeria.”