Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
Counsel to the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commision (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, Mr. Wahab Shittu, yesterday gave reasons why Magu was yet to appear before the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
The CCB had via a letter titled: “Investigation of Activities- Letter of Invitation, Breach of Code of Conduct for Public Officers,” summoned Magu to appear before it.
However, Magu’s failure to appear before CCB had triggered reports that he shunned the invitation.
But Shittu said Magu did not shun the invitation. He said the assets declaration papers were part of his documents locked away in his office , which he could not access since his arrest and subsequent appearance before the Justice Ayo Salami-led panel.
“We wish to state with high sense of responsibility that we have written two letters to the Chairman of the CBB, intimating him about the inability of our client to have access to the relevant documents as required by the CCB.
The letters, dated November 16 and 17, 2020, were addressed to the CCB Chairman.
“The letters were titled- Re: Investigation of Activities- Letter of Invitation, Breach of Code of Conduct for Public Officers. Please note that the letters were stamped and acknowledged by the office of the CCB Chairman on the said date of November 17, 2020.
“We also wish to state the said letters were copied to the Director of Intelligence, Investigation and Monitoring while the letters were also stamped and acknowledged by his office”, he said.
He explained Magu’s inability to honour the invitation.
“In the referred letter, our client was requested to appear before your distinguished body on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 11am prompt concerning the above subject matter.
“We have firm instructions to inform your distinguished body that our client, regrettably will not be able to honour today’s invitation in view of certain circumstances beyond his control,” he said, while noting that “our client’s inability to honour your invitation is as a result of his inability to access his office and the requested documents since his suspension from office.
“We wish to inform you that the documents which you requested for and other personal documents are still in his personal office where he has been denied access up to date”.
He listed the documents requested by CCB to include acknowledgement slips of all Magu’s assets declaration to the Code of Conduct since he joined public service, copies of his appointment letter, acceptance, records of service and payslips from January to May, 2020.
Others include all title documents of his landed properties both developed and undeveloped.
“We request that the invitation to our client be extended pending the conclusion of the exercise of the mandate of the presidential Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up against our client and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
“This request has become necessary since most of the documents requested by your Bureau, were removed from our client’s offices by the Department of State Services (DSS) and the request of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry in the absence of our client while our client was in detention”, he said.
The letter noted that based on the foregoing, it would be impossible for Magu “to answer your questions and provides those documents which are in the possession of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry and the Department of State Security Service (DSS).
“We therefore kindly request your distinguished body to graciously extend the invitation extended to our client pending the return of our client’s documents (which you requested)”.
The statement further said: “we further wish to inform you that we are writing a letter to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, requesting it to direct the Acting EFCC boss to allow our client access to the relevant documents. Please note that there is the need for our client to have access to the relevant documents in order to prepare for his defence to your invitation.
“In the circumstances, until such a time when our client gains access to his personal file in his office where most of the requested documents are, it is impracticable to honour your invitation, even if our client is willing to do so as an obedient and patriotic citizen”.