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Buhari orders probe of head of anti-corruption agency and another top official

Buhari orders probe of head of anti-corruption agency and another top official

Nigeria

Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari, has ordered the Attorney General to initiate investigations into allegations against top officials in his administration.

A terse statement by Buhari’s assistant in charge of Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, read in part, ‘‘The attention of the presidency has been drawn to a number of reports in the media, in which various accusations of corruption have been levelled against some top officials in the administration.

‘‘In that regard, President Buhari has instructed the Attorney General of the Federation to investigate the involvement of any top government officials accused of any wrong-doing. If any of them are liable they will not escape prosecution,’‘ it concluded.

Any top government officials accused of any wrong-doing. If any of them are liable they will not escape prosecution.

Local media had been awash with reports about the reasons the Nigerian Senate last week refused to confirm the appointment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) chief, Ibrahim Magu. He is seen as one of the officials Buhari’s instruction is targeted at.

A fact check by some media portals however indicate that Mr Magu who continues to lead the top anti-corruption outfit is just a victim of political vendetta by some high ranking officials he is pursuing on charges of corruption.

The other official is Secretary General of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, who is said to be complicit in contracts relating to funds meant for Internally Displaced People. His company is said to have won a contract to cut grass according to a Senate report.

Buhari, a 74-year-old former military ruler, was elected in 2015 under the All Progressives Congress (APC) which toppled the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which had ruled Africa’s most populous country for the last 16 years.

The APC campaign largely fought on his pledge to crush the Islamist militant group Boko Haram and crack down on corruption and tackle challenges facing the economy. Since his assumption of office a number of former officials have been arrested and arraigned on corruption charges. The opposition has accused Buhari of witch hunting opponents, a claim the government repeatedly denies.

Nigeria’s war against insurgency also received a boost with a more equipped army restricting Boko Haram attacks and taking the fight to the terrorists. On the economy however, Nigeria has slipped into recession in the wake of falling crude prices but Buhari says his team will take Nigeria out of recession before long.

According to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by 2.06% in the second quarter. The GDP shrunk by 0.36%.

A recession is a period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activities are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters.