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Magu’s lawyer shocked at nomination of new EFCC chairman

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TOSIN Ajaomo, lawyer to Ibrahim Magu, former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has expressed shock over the nomination of Abdulrasheed Bawa as the substantive head of the commission.

Ajaomo said this when he virtually appeared on Channels Tv programme, Politics Today, on Tuesday evening, stating that the appointment came as a shock to him due to pending issues surrounding the EFCC.

“Sincerely, I need to tell you that this appointment came to me as a shock. There is still an unfinished assignment that was pending. I was expecting that the issue of Magu would have been sorted out before moving to another stage,” he said.

He argued that although nobody could question the authority of the president to nominate someone for a position, Magu’s case should have been completed before another chairman was nominated.

“If there is a matter that is pending as regards the commission because the Salami Panel is not just to investigate Magu, the whole commission was subjected to investigation. So, I was expecting that the report would have been made public or maybe a white paper issued on that matter before another step is taken,” Ajaomo further said.

Ajaomo further stated that justice had not been served on Magu’s case because reports on the allegations that led to his suspension as the acting chairman of the commission had not been proven.

The ICIR had reported that President Muhammadu Buhari forwarded the name of Bawa to the Senate for confirmation as the substantive chairman of the EFCC on Tuesday.

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In July 2019, Magu was arrested and detained for about 10 days for questioning over allegations bordering on abuse of office, mismanagement of recovered assets, among others.

The allegations levelled on Magu were investigated by the special presidential probe panel known as Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets (PCARA) led by Ayo Salami, former president of Court of Appeal.

However, Magu, through his lawyer, had challenged the panel as well as Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, to provide evidence of the allegations levelled against him.

“I unequivocally deny this allegation as same is untrue and merely calculated to tarnish my name, the Commission, and the giant strides this administration has achieved in the fight against corruption and recovery of proceeds of unlawful activities,” said Magu.

He accused Malami of either interfering or being less supportive on investigations concerning the EFCC under his watch.

Lukman Abolade is an Investigative reporter with The ICIR. Reach out to him via [email protected], on twitter @AboladeLAA and FB @Correction94

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