EFCC: Young lawyers embarrass Justice Salami, refuse to testify against Magu; Malami, IGP clash over arrest orders
Ibrahim Magu was itching to respond again Thursday after a Wednesday melodrama between the Justice Ayo Salami panel and two witnesses expected to nail Magu, but they refused to, in an unsubstantiated audio record allegation an EFCC suspect brought him in Abuja on Wednesday.
The two young lawyers put the manipulated facts straight and challenged the petitioner, Donald Wokoma, his collaborator AGF Abubakar Malami, and the panel to justify the misinformation and falsehood the panel claimed to be probing.
Victor Giwa and Fatima Hassan, both counsels to Wokoma, a company owner caught in the Amnesty Programme misappropriation in 2018, further expressed their disappointment in Salami and his panel.
The panel, afterwards, excused Giwa and Hassan, only for the two to be bundled away by the EFCC.
But leading to their arrest, according to a report by Sahara Reporters, was the current episode in the ongoing conspiracy to nail Magu at all cost as Malami rakes up all sorts of petition against the former boss of the anti-graft commission.
In the audio evidence before the panel on Wednesday, Wokoma claimed he met and recorded conversation and correspondence with certain operatives of the EFCC known as the Magu Boys,
According to him, the EFCC froze his company’s account holding N250m. Despite a court order his counsel Giwa obtained to unfreeze it, the Magu Boys negotiated with Giwa for 40 percent of the amount, N75m, to be paid into three accounts.
He then petitioned Malami in July, and the effort to retrieve the recorded conversation and other evidence between him, Giwa, and the Magu Boys became an issue. Wokoma said the EFCC officers browbeat Giwa into silence.
To unravel it all when Malami brought the petition to the Salami panel, Giwa came Tuesday to testify.
First, Giwa challenged the panel to point out issues of bribery in the audio evidence.
According to the lawyer, the EFCC appealed the court order unfreezing the account then, and Wokoma decided to get another lawyer—Hassan.
Hassan, thereafter, was invited on Wednesday, and she told the panel the three accounts Wokoma tried to palm off as Magu Boys’ belong to her three children. She urged the panel to go verify the accounts.
To cap it all, she said the N75m was her professional fee, adding she has never met Magu or his Boys except watching him on TV.
The vehemence with which the lawyers challenged Salami and his panel led to asking the two to step out for a while.
But behind them, Malami had ordered IGP Mohammed Adamu, according to the report, to send police officers to pick up Giwa and Hassan.
The panel used the police to arrest Magu and detained him for 10 days in July. Neither the panel nor the police took responsibility for the breach when Magu’s lawyers challenged it.
Adamu, however, refused to heed Malami’s order on Wednesday.
Soon after, officers from the EFCC came and whisked the two lawyers away, only to be granted bail on Thursday.
Magu, however, wrote the panel again to defend himself—since he has never been told why the panel is investigating him, and has not been allowed to see or hear petitioners testifying against him.
Many Nigerians following the investigation by the presidential panel are wondering why Salami and his members are carrying on like a kangaroo panel.
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