By Nimi Princewill.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption mantra has been dealt a huge blow, following startling reports by Premium Times which dug up dirt on his newly-inaugurated Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi.
Fingered as one of the looters who had a field day during the unrestrained thievery that characterized the Abacha era, Magashi, a retired Major-General was reported to have allegedly stolen a sizeable amount of public funds which he stashed overseas.
The report further revealed that some of the pilfered funds Magashi allegedly accrued to himself, which amounts to about $550,000 was later detected by former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s investigation of the ‘Abacha Loot.’
It added that Magashi, wary of public humiliation, brokered a deal with the government to return $400,000 and keep the rest to himself. An agreement that quenched the government’s thirst for prosecution.
The 74-year-old retired Major-General, has long remained relevant in the political scheme of things having earlier aspired for the governorship seat of Kano State.
Bashir Magashi was recently sworn-in as Nigeria’s Minister of Defence by President Muhammadu Buhari, a move which calls into question the credibility of the level of scrutiny carried out on the ministerial nominees by the State Security Service (SSS).
The report, however added that neither Magashi nor presidency officials have responded to queries from newsmen on the matter.