The Justice Ayo Salami-led Presidential panel probing the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has rejected a request by Magu to invite the President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari; the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi; and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas.
Others who were supposed to appear before the panel include- a former Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde; the Director General of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, Modibbo Hamman-Tukur; EFCC’s Acting Director, Directorate of Asset Forfeiture and Recovery Management, Mr Aliyu Yusuf; an EFCC lawyer, Bala Sanga; and a former EFCC official, Isa Dongoyaro.
The Salami-led panel had drafted a subpoena addressed to the naval chief, minister and others to appear.
However, it was learnt that the panel made a U-turn and decided not to invite them anymore following the refusal of the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to honour a summons.
A lawyer to Magu, Mr. Tosin Ojaomo, said the suspended EFCC boss did not have a chance to properly defend himself since the panel rejected his appeal to invite those who would have been able to explain the allegations against him.
Ojaomo said the panel had closed its probe and was putting together its report which it would soon submit to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The lawyer said,
“Justice Salami refused to subpoena those we asked him to serve. He had drafted subpoenas to the chief of naval staff, minister of defence, chief of staff to the President, the DG NFIU, the AGF and Lamorde.
“I am sure he refused to issue the subpoenas because of the way the AGF refused to come forward. So, we have closed our defence and I am sure the report would be submitted anytime from now.
“Magu was forced to defend himself without any witness of his coming forward. But no one accused Magu of stealing. In fact, those who have pending cases in court only asked that the charges filed against them be withdrawn.”
The panel, which sat for three months, summoned at least 50 persons, including activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN); General Overseer, Divine Hand of God Prophetic Ministry, Prophet Emmanuel Omale; senior advocate, Godwin Obla; Managing Director of First City Monument Bank, Adam Nuru; as well as several government officials.