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Sunday, October 25, 2020

Magu’s Probe: Why I didn’t appear before panel – Malami

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said he declined to testify before the Ayo Salami-led panel probing the suspended EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu, because his invitation by the panel was “contrary to the provisions of the Law.”.

Mr Malami stated this through a statement on Thursday by his spokesperson, Umar Gwandu.

He said his not appearing before the presidential investigative panel has no “ulterior motive.”

The panel is investigating Mr Magu over allegations of graft and insubordination levelled against him by Mr Malami.

Mr Malami’s complaint led to the suspension of Mr Magu as acting EFCC chairperson and the investigation of his activities at the EFCC from May 2015 to May 2020.

Weeks back, the AGF had said he would gladly testify against the suspended EFCC boss.

But instead of appearing before the panel, Mr Malami wrote to Mr Salami stating the reasons for his refusal to appear before the panel.

In a statement on Thursday signed by Mr Gwandu, the AGF said his refusal to honour the panel’s invitation was based on “constitutional consideration.”

According to the statement, “the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice said the appearance or otherwise of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN to serve as a witness in any investigation should be a constitutional matter.

“In establishing properiety or otherwise of the presence of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice whose responsibility is to hold constitutional order one must root same within the constitutional provisions.

“The terms and wordings of invitation extended to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to Justice Ayo Panel of inquiry against Magu runs contrary to the Constitutional provisions.

“The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice is by the provision of the Constitution and extant laws empowered to serve supervisory role. In the case of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has been discharging the role effectively.”

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