He was speaking at the graduation of the commission’s detective inspectors course 5 cadets from the Nigeria Defence Academy on 18 February 2018.
They claimed that Magu had said: “Tackling corruption is a clarion call, given that corruption is a huge burden to the nation. It is worse than cancer, Ebola virus, coronavirus and all other deadly diseases put together.”
What did Magu actually say? We checked.
What is coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East respiratory syndrome and severe acute respiratory syndrome.
An outbreak of a new strain, known as Covid-19, was identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
Commission deletes tweet
Several Twitter users replied to the commission’s denial with video evidence of its acting chair making the statement.
A recording of the event shows that Magu said: “Your excellency corruption is the biggest strategy to humankind. Your excellency, corruption is worse than all the diseases now running about. And I strongly believe, your excellency, that even coronavirus is caused by corruption.”
The commission has since deleted the tweet, which labelled a news report of his statement “false and misleading”.
This is not the first time Magu has been in the news for linking corruption to a disease. In February 2018, he reportedly claimed that cancer was caused by corruption.
‘Viruses are not caused by corruption’ – WHO
A senior lecturer at the department of mass communication at the University of Lagos, Dr Ifeoma Amobi, told us that Magu’s claim could trivialise the coronavirus outbreak and confuse the public.
“I see no reason why he would make such a statement. No doubt some people would feed on the claim. And when a verified cause of coronavirus is published, they would disregard it. It is very dangerous for a leader to make such a meaningless statement.” – Africa Check
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