The Presidential panel investigating the former Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, continued its sittings on Wednesday with a promise to grant the suspended acting chairman at the anti-graft agency a fair hearing.
We gathered from a source close to the panel, that the Justice Ayo Salami led panel, however, rejected Magu’s requests for videos of the previous proceedings to enable him to study them and respond to allegations against him.
A document sighted by our source revealed that Salami, in rejecting the requests, said the previous video recordings were “ unauthorized “
“ The request by Mr. Ibrahim Magu for the video recording of the proceedings cannot be granted because the previous recordings of the proceedings at the beginning was unauthorized by the investigation committee”, adding that “ the committee does not know the purpose such recordings will serve”
Our source gathered that Salami’s statement was a reaction to some of the “pertinent questions for Salami-led panel over Magu” raised previously by Magu’s lawyers.
Magu had questioned the panel’s invitation to suspects facing EFCC trial, as well as the basis of the panel’s invitation to a senior lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), a lawyer that he claimed was “defending the looters of our common patrimony, especially those who are under EFCC’s investigations and trial”
“ Is it not curious that while the lawyer to Magu, Wahab Shittu, deliberately refused to disclose what transpired before the panel, Ozekhome and Obla issued statements and and made public what transpired before the panel.
Magu also queried the propriety of the panel’s invitation to a “disgruntled official of the EFCC, Nuru Buhari Dalhatu, to come and testify against Mr. Magu while the said Dalhatu is under investigation for misconduct and fraternizing with suspects? “
Magu had accused the panel of being “ hostile” to him, at any time he tried to take up issues with those invited to testify against him.
Magu also noted that the fact-finding panel over allegations of corruption against him has now turned to a platform where certain individuals who have issues against the suspended EFCC boss are being invited to testify against him.
“There is the need to ask this important question- Has any witness testified that he or she gave XYZ amount to Mr. Magu in order to compromise cases before him?
“Why is it that the Salami-led panel is yet to serve and confront Mr. Magu with all the allegations against him and what are the terms of reference of the panel.”
But Salami, at the Wednesday’ sitting, assured Magu that “ Members of the Panel are not conducting a trial or inquiry on Ibrahim Magu or the EFCC”
“That this is not a Panel but a committee saddled only with an investigation”
The committee, therefore, assured Magu, that it will “ guarantee fair hearing to Magu and all appearing before it in its fact-finding exercise”