Again, Magu Writes Panel, Seeks Copies of Petition, Others

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Ibrahim Magu

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has again written the Justice Ayo Salami-led Judicial Commission of Inquiry probing allegations of financial impropriety against him, seeking copies of case files, petitions and exhibits.

Magu is also seeking clarifications on the timeline of the sitting of the panel and whether an extension of the duration of the panel was granted by the appointing authority.

The letter dated August 20, 2020 and signed by Magu’s lead Counsel, Mr. Wahab Shittu, drew the attention of the commission to Section 36 (6)(A)(B) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) 1999 which provides that “every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be entitled to the following:

“(a) be informed promptly in the language that he understands and in details of the nature of the offence

(b), be given adequate time and facility for the preparatlon of his defence”.

The letter noted that based on the foregoing and ahead of his defence before the panel, he should be provided with “copies of all presentations/petitions against our client tendered in these proceedings, access to all exhibits tendered in these proceedings; and access to relevant case files and documents tendered in these proceedings and any other materials that may be relevant for purposes of the defence of our client in these proceedings”.

Magu’s counsel said the request had become urgent and compelling in view of Paragraph 5 of the instrument establishing the judicial commission of inquiry.

He cited President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive on the duration and sitting of the panel.

Shittu quoted Buhari as saying that “And I hereby direct the judicial commission to submit its Interim reports to me from time to time but the judicial commission shaII in any case submit its final report not later than 45 days from the date of its first public sitting or within such extended period as may be authorised by me in writing”.

Shittu also sought further clarification on the duration and sitting of the commission.

“We humbly request you to note that in view of the timeline stipulated above and the need to clarify the duration of the sittings and whether the appointing authority has extended the period.

“It is of utmost importance that access to the requested documents is granted to our client and his counsel to ensure seamless proceedings and the guarantee of fair hearing as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria”.