Suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu has alleged that the Ayo Salami-led panel probing his activities at the anti graft agency is bias.
In a statement on Wednesday by his counsel, Wahab Shittu, said, “We are particularly alarmed about recent developments. About six weeks ago, our client (Magu) concluded his defence. Between that time and now, a lot has happened.
“First, the panel embarked on verification of assets nationwide in the absence of our client. Verification of assets is part of evidence gathering and can be likened to a visit to locus-in-quo.
“Section 207(2) of the CPA provides that ‘the accused shall be present at the view’ and at the locus. If an inspection of the locus is undertaken and the accused person is absent, this is an irregularity.
“There are also reports that the panel continues to call witnesses and take evidence even when our client had concluded his defence and in the absence of our client without being given the opportunity to confront and challenge the veracity of such evidence.
“Based on the foregoing, the fundamental principle of fair hearing to which our client is entitled to has been crassly and fundamentally violated. The foregoing are for the attention of the appointing authority and the Nigerian public.”
Speaking further the statement said, “As counsel of choice to Magu, our immediate reaction is one of shock that the panel could contemplate what is clearly outside its mandate for undisclosed reasons. Clearly, we are unable to understand how a Judicial Commission of Enquiry constituted by law will arrogate to itself powers outside its statutory mandate, including taking over the functions of the National Assembly to amend the EFCC Act 2004.
“Our client, who is incorruptible and remains innocent of all the allegations levelled against him by his accusers, was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in line with the EFCC Act.”