The argument between counsels to Ibrahim Magu and retired Justice Ayo Salami, the chairman of the presidential panel secretly probing the EFCC, is escalating. The lawyers have gone ahead to high court to swear to an oath establishing Justice Salami said something that made him appear frustrated .
After the lawyers told the media Salami expressed frustration at the proceeding of the probe to nail Magu, at the instigation of AGF Abubakar Malami, the panel chairman, for the first time, spoke to the media he never said it.
“I have no cause to express any regret over my chairmanship of the commission,…” said Salami.
“I have never appointed any of the two lawyers or any other person(s) to speak on my behalf as I can express myself without recourse to the lawyers of the persons we are probing. As an eminent jurist, who retired as the President of the Court of Appeal.”
But one of the two lawyers representing Magu on the panel insisted the retired justice was grieving for accepting President Muhammadu Buhari’s assignment.
“I am ready to swear an affidavit on the matter,” said Tosin Ojaoma in an interview with Premium Time.
“How can I tell a lie on him (Mr Salami)? This is something I said two weeks ago. Mr Salami is someone that is old enough to be my father, so I would not say something he did not say.”
His colleague Zainab Abiola has already approached a high court to swear to an affidavit that what she said about Mr Salami was true.
In an affidavit she deposed to on October 2, she said after ‘’the chairman of the panel expressed his regrets and said amongst other things the following specific words: ‘I regret chairing this panel, honestly. Since 2013 I retired and went back to my place. What is all this? It is embarrassing, very embarrassing.’
“Barrister Tosin Ojaoma went up to him and specifically said the following words: “Your Lordship please don’t be embarrassed and don’t abdicate. This is a national assignment and we are all here for justice”, and everyone nodded in agreement.’’
The back-and-forth between Salami and Magu’s lawyers may not surprise many who have already seen the panel set up as ill-motivated.
That is more so as the AGF who was implicated in the corruption probe refuses to appear before the panel that invitted him.
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