Friday, Jan 15th 2021 6:13 PM

Market Digest Nigeria


Ibrahim Magu: meets Salami panel, submits evidence

Chief Mike Ozekhome

There seems to be more trouble coming for Ibrahim Magu, as prominent lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome appeared before Presidential Panel for the continuation of the investigation of corruption allegations against the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Ibrahim Magu

Ozekhome, who met with the Justice Ayo Salami-led panel on Tuesday, further strengthed the corruption allegations against Magu by submitting six exhibits, including two video clips and some documents.

During the session, which lasted about two hours, the senior advocate accused Magu of being unprofessional with the handling of his office.

Ozekhome also pointed at the investigative deficiencies of the anti-graft agency under Magu. According to him, it was more of a ‘media trial.’

However, a lawyer to Magu, Mr. Tosin Ojaomo, described the senior advocate’s visit to the panel as unfortunate.

The lawyer said it’s clear the Justice Salami-led panel was on a “fishing expedition”.

Ojaoma said Ezekhome is well known as a staunch critic of the leadership of the EFCC and Magu and was only invited to nail the suspended boss at all costs.

Ojaoma noted that he was aware of the senior advocate’s visit to the panel but questioned why Magu has not been given the same opportunity to invite people and to defend himself.

He said, “We are aware of the visit of Chief Ozekhome. His grouse is the freezing of his account in 2017, which was later unfrozen. Unfortunately, it only goes on to show that the panel is on a fishing expedition because the panel is also inviting people, who have a score to settle with Magu.

“This is not how panels are supposed to act. We all remember how the Justice Oputa panel conducted itself professionally many years ago. People, who were invited, were given petitions ahead of time so that they could defend themselves. Till date, Magu has not received any petition. Is this fair?”

He noted that contrary to the opinion of Ojaoma, his primary aim was not to settle scores with Magu but to address the deficiencies in the EFCC with a view to helping it to actualize its core mandate.

The senior advocate confirmed that he submitted six exhibits to the panel, including two videos as well as a letter he wrote to the then acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on the urgent need for reforms and accountability as regards recovered loot.

He, however, urged Magu and his camp to be calm and be ready for more of his moves against them.

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