Counsel to the suspended chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, Mr. Wahab Shittu has said that the recommendations of the Justice Ayo Salami-led panel of inquiry that probed allegations of fraud against Magu constitute an attack on the Nigeria Police Force, even as he vowed that his client will be vindicated at the end.
The panel submitted its report yesterday to President Muhammadu Buhari and one of its recommendations is that the over 900 policemen in the anti-graft agency should be flushed out while allowing the core EFCC operatives to take charge of the Commission.
He added that there is no way any law enforcement agency will be established in the country without the police. “All over the world, police is central to law enforcement and other security agencies. Like DSS, they also owe their origin to the police. You cannot separate the police from law enforcement and EFCC is a law enforcement agency. That suggestion should be rejected.
“It is an institutional attack against the police and it does not recommend the tremendous effort that the police have put into the successes recorded by EFCC since inception. I urge the President to reject that recommendation,” he stated.
In a statement later released by Shittu, he vowed that Magu will be vindicated.
“We wish to state that in view of today’s submission of the much awaited report of Justice Isa Salami – led Judicial Commission of Enquiry to President Muhammadu Buhari, we wish to state with high sense of responsibility that the suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, will be vindicated at the end of the day.
We observed that Hon Justice Isa Salami, in a televised speech at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, made certain recommendations outside the mandate of the panel and proceeded to make case for the headship of the commission outside the Police Force.
We wish to state that all over the world, the police is central to law enforcement. The EFCC is a law enforcement agency, separating the police from the EFCC is anti- law enforcement.
How come that Salami Panel did not say anything on alleged mismanagement of recovered assets, insubordination and abuse of office against Mr Magu?
We are further alarmed that Salami could in the public glare at the seat of power, attack the police as an institution and recommended the exit of police officers from the EFCC within two years.
We wish to ask at this juncture- what happened to the huge amount of money expended by the Federal Government on these police officers in terms of investigations, money laundering and specialized economic crimes. Without preempting President Muhammadu Buhari on his decision over the report, we urge the President to make informed decision and do the needful on the matter. We also wish to state with high sense of responsibility that Magu remains incorruptible and his stellar achievements in EFCC is unprecedented in the history of the commission”