Our Reporter

Contrary to reports in some sections of the media that the suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been facing daily grilling by the presidential panel looking into the financial activities of the Commission, Magu said he has not appeared before the panel for some day.

Magu also said that up till today, Wednesday, July 15, 2020, nobody has given him any document stating the reason(s) why he is being probed or detained, in order to enable him respond appropriately.

This is coming, even as the Nigeria Police has washed its hands off Magu’s traveils, saying it had nothing to do with his incarceration.

According to a written submission by counsel to Magu, submitted to the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets (PCARA), Magu last appeared before the panel about a week ago.

Wahab Shittu, counsel to Magu who submitted the letter to the panel on Wednesday said his client has not been brought before the panel between last week Thursday and Tuesday this week, adding that Magu has instead arrived at the venue on the listed days only to wait from 9am to 9pm before being taken back into custody.

He said it has become necessary to make the clarifications in view of media reports that Magu is being grilled on daily basis by the panel.

“The allegation that our client was grilled by the Panel on Monday, 13th July, 2020, as reported, is complete falsehood.

“The correct position was that our client and his Counsel (Mr. Wahab Shittu) arrived the venue of the ongoing Investigations on Monday 13th July, 2020 by 9am. Our client and his Counsel were kept at the waiting room of the venue of the sittings unattended to from 9am to 9pm when our client was taken back to custody.

“This followed the same pattern on Thursday and Friday last week when our client waited for 12 hours without being called upon by the Panel to partake in the proceedings. Witnesses called by the Panel were interrogated by the Panel without the participation of our client or his Counsel in the proceedings. This was also the pattern on Tuesday, 14th July, 2020. Our client chose to wait patiently on the panel,” Shittu said.

He said Shittu Magu was yet to officially receive a copy of the allegations against him and requested the panel to ask the inspector-general of police to release him from custody to enable him to prepare properly for his defence.

“Our client is spending the 9th day in custody without being given copy of the allegations against him to enable him formally respond to same. Our client is ready to formally respond to allegations and furnish documentary evidence in support if served with the copy of the allegations.

“Our client respectfully demands the following: A copy of the report of the Presidential Audit Committee; a copy of the memo of HAGF to the President on our client; individual Petitions submitted to the Panel against our client.

“Our client observes that rather being afforded copies of the allegations against him, some of these allegations are flying round on social media platforms with prejudicial consequences.

“Our client requests that these allegations be formally served on him to enable him respond to same immediately.

“Our client observes that the Panel has issued official statement to the effect that it did not authorise the detention of our client. We request the Panel to recommend to the Inspector General of Police in whose custody our client is to release him from custody to enable him adequately prepare his defence and attend to his failing health. We plead with the authorities to release our client from custody,” the lawyer wrote.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police has denied involvement in the detention or probe of the former EFCC acting chairman.

ALSC is with a copy of a letter written by the Inspector General of Police to Tosin Ojaomo of Ojaomo and Ojaomo Chambers dated July 14, 2020 in which the IGP said the Police has nothing to the investigation or probe of the suspended acting EFCC boss.

The letter from Police which was a response to a request for bail has as its reference, CB:7000/IGP.SEC/ABJ/VOL.489/172 and was signed by DCP Idowu Owohunwa on behalf of the IGP.

It referred to an earlier letter written by the law chamber dated 10 July 2020 with reference no: OOC/TOL/89A/07/2020
The letter had it in part- “That the Nigeria Police Force is not investigating Magu and he is therefore not being investigated by the Police but by the presidential panel that is investigating the activities of the EFCC.
“The Inspector General of Police therefore advises that you consider redirecting your request to the Presidential Panel for appropriate action

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