The suspended boss of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has complained about the “unfortunate” handling of his investigation for alleged corruption, saying he has consequently been “paraded like a common criminal”.
Magu on Monday, July 6, appeared before the presidential panel investigating allegations of corruption leveled against him by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
Premiumtimes reports that Magu in a letter written by his lawyer, Wahab Shittu, and sent to the Presidential Investigative Committee on Friday, July 10, said he had not seen the petitions containing the allegations against him nor has the committee availed him with their terms of reference. The letter which was reportedly sent to the Committee on Friday, July 11, reads in part
“Mr Chairman, since the 6th of July when our client honoured your invitation, he has been consistently applying to the Committee to be given the petitions containing the allegations of CONSPIRACY, CORRUPT ENRICHMENT, ABUSE OF POWER/OFFICE, which request has not been honoured or obliged till date. Our client has also informed us that he remains unaware of the terms of reference of this distinguished Committee.”
The letter also related Magu’s discomfort with his continued detention at the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department FCID “without being informed of the allegations against him and the deserved opportunity to timeously study and respond to same.”
Magu in his letter complained that “witnesses are called and examined by the Committee behind his back and without allowing him and counsel of his choice to participate in the proceedings involving these witnesses.”
The suspended chairman of the antigraft agency said he had been a target of campaigns of calumny by the media taking advantage of his detention to spread damaging, false and prejudicial allegations.
Among such “unfounded allegations which never featured in the proceedings of the Committee thus far,” the letter said, were that Mr. Magu gave Vice President Yemi Osinbajo four billion naira (an allegation Mr Osinbajo has denied); that he ran secret accounts; procured cronies to front for him; and that he acquired properties in Dubai.
“These campaigns of calumny have greatly affected the morale of our client and damaged his hard earned reputation and that of the Commission (EFCC)
It continued, “that our client as a result of this campaign of calumny has been paraded like a common criminal and subjected to all manners of insults and embarrassment just for serving his nation diligently and efficiently as the arrow-head of the anti-corruption campaign of this administration.
This unfortunate development is happening even before the determination of the petitions before this Honourable Committee with prejudicial consequences.” the letter read in part
Magu in his letter made seven requests from the committee, including its terms of reference; access to the petitions against him to “enable him study and prepare a robust defence”; intervention of the committee to facilitate his release from the FCID detention; and adequate time to respond to the allegations against him with necessary materials and evidence.
He also sought an opportunity to confront the petitioners with his own defense; and requested that witnesses be examined in his presence and his counsel. He then asked the committee to guarantee “his right to fair hearing including his right to liberty in the course of the proceedings of this distinguished Committee.”
The investigative committee is yet to comment on Magu’s letter.