Have You Noticed That Whenever Buhari Goes Down, EFCC Comes Up?

Ibrahim Magu
  • Buhari Down, EFCC Up: Coincidence?


It’s gotten quite noticeable that whenever Buhari or his government is “down” the Economic Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC is “up.”

Once there are major headlines that cast the Buhari government in bad light, the EFCC takes over the headlines with updates on its activities against the corruption of the Jonathan past administration with predilection for PDP party members, their families and associates who did not switch to the ruling APC party.

Initially Nigerians observed that as the dollar rate and economy worsened, quite unrelated to the global oil price which has since recovered to over $50/barrel without the expected parallel recovery of the Naira, the Buhari government directly blamed the Jonathan administration for the tanking of the economy. But as time went by and Nigerians started to comment that it was time the Buhari government accepted its share of blame in the failed policies ruining Nigeria’s economy; with CBN governor Godwin Emefiele’s cabal-enriching forex policies and subsidy established under Buhari as a major focus point, the Buhari government had to stop using the “Blame-Joe” defense/excuse and suddenly this new trend seemed to become the focus.

August ending last year, the headlines had it that Nigeria’s economy had fallen into a full recession. September was greeted with the EFCC finding some $31.4 million in accounts of Jonathan aides. Of course it was Patience Jonathan’s money and she came after it, and the EFCC found some more money of hers and on and on, the headlines were inundated with the EFCC-Patience scandal.

Interestingly a Vanguard article exposed the time-staging of the EFCC releases that September. The September 24, 2016 article was captioned, “$31.4m Cash Deposit: How Patience Jonathan forced EFCC to expose matter,” and had highlights “EFFC had knowledge of fund since July” and “Why action was not taken earlier.

It was quite convenient. Patience Jonathan made the headlines for the next couple of months instead of the biting recession. It was one find upon the other. September 22, 2016: “$15m scandal: EFCC freezes Patience Jonathan’s personal account,” October 29, 2016: “EFCC to confiscate Patience Jonathan’s property nationwide,” etc, etc. Hungry Nigerians were entertained or conveniently distracted till 2016 ended. Remember, Buhari took over since May of 2015.

And now again as the scandal over president Muhammadu Buhari’s sickness or “hale-and-hearty” lack of it, in-spite-of his absconding to the UK, makes headlines and as Nigerians begin to protest against the government, the EFCC is “Up” again. 3 days after Buhari failed to resume work following his 18-day vacation to the Queen’s England, February 9th, 2016 saw headlines: “EFCC raids home of former NNPC GMD, Andrew Yakubu, recovers $9.2m.” These have rapidly been followed up with more headlines in the same class; February 11, 2017: “EFCC in another breakthrough discovers $37.5m in Diezani’s Lagos mansion,” and we can expect many more to come, back-to-back with the EFCC reliably keeping Nigerians conveniently distracted as the economy is wrecked and the Commander in chief “absconds.”

Perhaps it’s just a coincidence; but most importantly, we will not be distracted by headlines of the EFCC doing its job the way Obasanjo set it up to: as a political machine against foe and the perceived opposition, leaving out  similarly indicted Presidency officers, ministers, heads of security agencies, and other ruling party men.

Charly Boy tagged the protests #OurMumuDonDo. I agree.

Dr. Peregrino Brimah; @EveryNigerian