Nigeria has suspended a dozen staff members at its top anti-corruption agency, a move criticised by civil culture teams as undermining the governments dedication to rooting out graft in west africas biggest economy.

This months suspensions were made pending a study into allegations of wrongdoing by ibrahim magu, chief associated with economic and financial crimes commission. mr magu ended up being suspended a week ago, detained for 10 days and only released on wednesday. he's got rejected all accusations.

President muhammadu buhari won two elections largely on an anti-corruption system and has very long promoted the efccs successes under mr magu. under his stewardship, the company has had in targets including sitting governors and worldwide oil organizations it had not in past times. the suspensions have actually prompted fury from activists.

Its not just about magu, its in regards to the destruction regarding the efcc, its about deteriorating the gains for this government plus the nation in general ahead of the globe while the intercontinental community when it comes to asset recovery additionally the fight corruption and cash laundering, stated olanrewaju suraju, mind associated with the lagos-based individual and environmental developing agenda (heda), a good-governance ngo.

The administration said the investigation bolsters its anti corruption credentials. its great, its healthier, and of course its really new for nigerian officials to be examined by the same government, stated sadiq isah radda, secretary of presidential committee against corruption. its a brand new section in reputation for this nation regarding transparency.

In a letter reportedly sent recently into presidential panel investigating mr magu and seen by the ft, his lawyer wahab shittu indexed exactly what he stated had been untrue allegations that had been floated when you look at the nigerian news within the last week including associated with big foreign currency deals, a $1.5m home in dubai, therefore the diversion of over $1.3bn in recovered assets.

Mr shittu explained that mr magu had not, as various outlets had reported, been questioned regarding the matters because of the panel. the fees against our client tend to be trumped-up allegations made to tarnish his picture and rubbish the credibility and image of efcc, mr shittu wrote in the page. mr shittu would not respond to demands for opinion.

The suspension is a power tussle between mr magu and attorney-general abubakar malami, with for ages been at chances over anti-corruption attempts, stated ose anenih, an abuja-based governmental specialist.

A consortium of teams, including heda and london-based campaigner worldwide witness, argued in a letter to mr buhari a week ago that mr magu had changed a sclerotic, fearful, politically grabbed bureaucracy. the team said the apparently political nature regarding the investigations origins risks severely denting nigeria's reputation overseas.

Garba shehu, chief spokesman for the president, stated in a statement on saturday that mr magu had been afforded because of process and was presumed and remains innocent until proven bad.

There are not any sacred cattle, as well as people who believe obtained a halo over their heads, their particular times are also numbered, he said. mr magu was not immune... regardless of the apparent shame that potential functions of wrongdoing by him, given the company he presented, may seem for the federal government.

Idayat hassan, head of abuja-based centre for democracy and development, stated the episode has actually further damped residents rely upon government. it makes serious mockery of five year war against corruption regarding the buhari administration if the arrowhead and primary czar regarding the war can also be becoming accused of corruption, she said.

The efcc under mr magu had faced criticism for mostly focusing on opposition politicians while ignoring credible allegations against governing celebration people. a truly severe anti-graft agency would open investigations against [senior governing party people], mr anenih included.

Mr magu features remained acting efcc chair since mr buhari named him to the place in 2015 because his nomination had been repeatedly rejected because of the senate following several letters from division of state providers, the domestic intelligence solution, which accused him of corruption.