Henry Uche, Lagos
The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) says Nigerians will not accept any tutored report in the case pertaining to the suspended Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu.
In a statement delivered by the Chairman of CSNAC, Olanrewaju Suraju, the group said that Nigerians are anxious to know the outcome of the report of the Presidential Investigative Panel set up by the Federal Government in the wake of the suspension of Ibrahim Magu.
CSNAC stressed that Nigerians are worried about information as published by Saharareporters on Tuesday, October 6, which stated that the report will be manipulated by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN.
The group asserted that Nigerians and the international community will not accept any attempt to tutor the report adding that already the manner in which the panel conducted the trial had indicated bias.
Following the suspension of Magu, the Nigerian central government set up a probe panel to investigate a string of allegations levelled against Magu whose lawyers did not succeed in inviting the Justice Minister to attend the panel as the star accuser.
‘We are deeply concerned about the need for a transparent probe by the Presidential Panel set up by the Federal Government. We are worried about reports that the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Malami has set up an in-house committee to write the report. This will be most unjust, we wish to see the Justice Minister respond to the disturbing report,’ Suraju said.
CSNAC said the exercise smacks of an attempt by the Ministry of Justice to even scores with the EFCC.
‘From the beginning, we have expressed worry about the trial. It has taken more than two months, but the report is yet to be released. It should have been a public trial, but the proceedings were manipulated. Malami, who is the chief witness failed to attend the trial where he should have backed up his claims.
‘The trial led by Justice Ayo Salami has been challenged by Magu’s lawyers who said several sittings of the panel were conducted in secrecy in the absence of Magu contrary to Section 2 (D) of the Tribunal of Inquiry Act which the President relied on in setting it up. Magu’s lawyer, Wahab Shittu, said contrary to the act establishing the judiciary panel, since inception on July 3, 2020, the panel has conducted many proceedings in private. Some witnesses were invited and cross-examined in the absence of Magu.
‘CSNAC urges the Attorney General to address Nigerians without delay on the allegations that he has constituted an in-house panel to write a report for the Justice Salami-led investigative panel probing Magu, the suspended Acting EFCC Chairman.’