Magu to open defence before Salami panel today

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    AFTER waiting for a copy of the allegations against him, the Presidential Investigation Committee on the activities of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wednesday agreed to give  the suspended Acting Chairman of the agency Mr. Ibrahim Magu a report to enter his Defence.

    The report is that of the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets( PCARA), which contains all allegations against Magu.

    But the Chairman of the panel, Justice Isa Ayo Salami extracted a commitment from the counsel to Magu, Barrister Wahab Shittu that PCARA’s report will not be leaked to the press.

    Magu, who said all the allegations against him were false, is expected to open his defence today.

    The suspended EFCC chairman was at the panel’s venue for about eight hours but he had a brief encounter with the team

    Wearing a white Kaftan with a white cap to match, the suspended EFCC chairman took a 78-page response to the committee, bordering on a query by the AGF, PCARA’s report and other allegations in public domain.

    The committee however  said it may accept  Magu’s response only after serving him the issues in PCARA’s report.

    A top source said: “After waiting for hours, the panel met with Magu for a few minutes. The committee later decided to make a  copy of the PCARA report available to Magu to enable him to address all the allegations against him.

    “It however gave a condition that PCARA report must not be leaked in any manner to the press to avoid distraction  of its activities.

    “With the concession by the panel, Magu will now open his Defence from Thursday or thereabout. He will be able to tender his defence which has not been accepted by the panel because the allegations were yet to be served on him. This is a good dimension.”

    A letter written to Salami’s panel by Magu’s counsel, Wahab Shittu however pledged that the suspended acting EFCC chairman will cooperate with the panel.

    In the letter, Shittu said Magu had not at any time challenged the mandate of the panel or engaged in any boast or queried the panel.

    The letter, which was submitted yesterday, reads in part:”We state for the records that we are not in a position to query the Honourable panel and certainly will never set out doing so.

    “Rather, our intention was to draw the attention of the Honourable panel to persistent falsehood publications concerning our client being orchestrated consistently in the public space in a manner that could prejudice the proceedings of this Honourable panel.

    “We apologize if any contrary interpretation of our intention is conveyed by the context in which the questions were raised in the referred letter. We hold the panel in the highest esteem.

    “Our client wishes to place on record his appreciation to the chairman members of the panel for ordering his release from custody on the 15th day of July 2020 without any conditionalities.

    “Our client appreciates this gesture given the fact that the panel has repeatedly stated that it did not order the detention of our client in the first place. Our client is grateful for the gesture.

    “Our client while appreciating the panel offers full cooperation to the panel in the discharge of its assignment.

    “Our client believes in the work of the committee because of his commitment to ridding the country of corruption.

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