Suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, will on Friday appear before the Justice Isa Ayo Salami presidential investigative panel to defend himself of allegations levelled against him.
The panel set up by President Muhammad Buhari following a memo written by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN, is investigating EFCC’s activities under Magu.
Malami’s damning memo to the President made certain allegations against the embattled Magu, including financial malfeasance; insubordination to the Office of the AGF; alleged re-looting of recovered loots and sale of seized assets to cronies, associates and friends, among others, against Magu.
Tribune Online gathered that Magu, who was suspended as EFCC acting chairman about two weeks ago after he was arrested on July 6, was at the Presidential Villa, where the panel was sitting today (Thursday) but could not appear before the panel.
The panel, it was learnt, though sat on Thursday to continue its investigation did not call Magu, who a source told Tribune Online was at the Villa between 9 am and 7 pm, for questioning.
Magu’s lawyer, Wahab Shittu confirmed to Tribune Online on the telephone that both Magu and himself were at the venue of the Justice Salami panel sitting at the Villa today but did not appear before the panel.
He stated that his client would appear before the panel tomorrow (Friday), adding that Magu was ready to defend himself of the allegations against him not only with oral evidence but also documentary evidence.
“We were at the venue of the panel sitting today from morning till evening but Magu did not appear before the panel.
“Hopefully, he will do so tomorrow and defend himself with documentary evidence,” Shittu told Tribune Online.
Contrary to reports that the panel had been grilling Magu over the allegations against, the lawyer had in a letter addressed to the panel last week denied Magu’s appearance before the panel any other time after Monday, July 6, when he first appeared before it.
In the letter written on behalf of Magu by Shittu, to the panel, addressed to the chairman, a retired President of the Court of Appeal, the lawyer stated that the allegations against Magu were trumped up to tarnish his image and rubbish his credibility as well as EFCC’s image, which he said was stellar and outstanding under him.
“The charges against our client are trumped-up allegations designed to tarnish his image and rubbish the credibility and image of EFCC which has been Stellar and outstanding under our client’s watch,” the lawyer stated in the letter.
He added that Magu was not given adequate time and facilities to defend himself, adding that a demand for a copy of the allegations against the suspended EFCC boss had not been honoured.
“Our client was not given adequate time and facilities for his defence and his demand for a copy of the allegations against him has not been honoured till date.
“We appeal to the Honourable Panel to consider the above and uphold the fundamental rights to a fair hearing of our client.”
He then demanded for a copy of the report of the Presidential Audit Committee; a copy of the memo of HAGF to the President on the suspended EFCC acting chairman and individual petitions submitted to the panel against Magu.
“Our client observes that rather being afforded copies of the allegations against him, some of these allegations are flying around on social media platforms with prejudicial consequences.
“Our client requests that these allegations be formally served on him to enable him to respond to same immediately,” Shittu wrote.
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