Ibrahim Magu writes Buhari’s panel, seeks clarification on Judicial Commission

Ibrahim Magu, the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has asked for clarification on the sitting procedure of the Presidential Judicial Commission of Inquiry probing his time in office as head of the anti-graft commission.

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry was set up on July 3, 2020, to probe the activities of EFCC under his leadership.

But, Magu was not invited to appear before the committee until July 6, 2020.

However, a letter by Magu’s lawyer, Wahab Shittu which was addressed to the Chairman of the Commission, Justice Isa Ayo Salami demanded an explanation on the commission’s sitting timeline.

He disclosed that the instrument of appointment signed by President Muhammadu Buhari stated that the commission should conclude its sitting within 45 days.

The suspended EFCC boss, however, stated that he was served the letter on August 8, 2020.

The letter reads in part: “Please, be further advised that by the instrument of appointment signed by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on July 3, 2020, and served on our client on August 8 2020, the Judicial Commission of Inquiry is to conclude all proceedings of the inquiry within 45 days unless given express extension in writing by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Paragraph 5 of the instrument of instruction provides as follows

“And I hereby direct the judicial commission to submit its interim reports to me from time to time, but the judicial commission shall, in any case, submit its final report not later than forty-five days from the date of its first public sitting or within such extended period as may be authorized by me in writing

“In view of the above, we humbly require clarification on the judicial commission of inquiry’s timeline for sittings. This is in the context of the fact that our client was not formally invited to the proceedings of the judicial commission of inquiry until July 6, 2020, even if the Judicial Commission of Inquiry was supposed to have been constituted since July 3, 2020.

“It is also unclear whether proceedings of the panel before the date of the issuance of the instrument of the mandate will be deemed to be part of the 45 days’ timeline prescribed in the instrument of mandate or proceedings will be deemed to commence when our client was served the instrument of mandate on August 8 2020.”

Recall that Buhari had suspended Magu over allegations of mismanagement and corruption.

This followed an indictment against him by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

Malami had in a memo accused Magu of corruption, insubordination, re-looting of loots, mismanagement of loots among others.

Following the memo, he was suspended and immediately replaced with EFCC’s Director of Operations, Mohammed Umar.

Against the backdrop of the indictment, the panel was set up to probe Magu.

Recently, one of Magu’s lawyers, Aliyu Lemu, had lamented that he was not aware of why his client was being probed. 

Following the probe, Nigerians had tasked President Buhari to sack Magu and ensure he is prosecuted over the allegations raised.

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