Presidency Panel Rejects Magu’s Defence

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The presidential panel probing Ibrahim Magu, suspended chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has rejected his defence.

The panel headed by Ayo Salami, former president of the court of panel, has not formally served Magu with the allegations levelled against him.

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Recall that Magu, who was arrested on July 6 and whisked before the panel sitting at the presidential villa in Abuja, was detained for 10 days.

A source told TheCable that Wahab Shittu, Magu’s lawyer, had filed a defence based on the allegations in circulation.

“Magu’s counsel sent in a defence to the presidential panel but it was rejected,” the source said.

“The panel wondered why the lawyer came up with the defence when Magu had not even been presented with the allegations. Panel members were taken aback on the reaction of the lawyer.”

Shittu neither answered calls nor responded to a text message seeking his comment on the development.

While in detention, Magu had requested to see a copy of the allegations to enable him prepare for defence.

Magu’s lawyer had also asked that a copy of the report of the presidential audit committee which probed the EFCC between May 2015 and May 2020; a copy of the memo of Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), individual petitions submitted to the panel be made available to his client.

After regaining freedom, the former acting chairman of the EFCC had described the allegations against him as “nonsense”, saying he was shocked when he read them in newspapers.

“They are nonsense. They are mere trump up allegations to tarnish my image and that of the EFCC. I did not steal or divert or convert funds to private use. I read the allegations and I was shocked,” he had said.

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He, however, promised to cooperate with the panel.

Magu’s travails followed a memo by Malami who accused him of grave malfeasance.

He was alleged to have mishandled the recovered loot and sold seized assets to associates.

He was also alleged to have refused to subject himself to the supervision of the office of the attorney-general.

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