Magu reacts to Salami Panel’s Report

The suspended acting chairperson of the anti-graft agency, EFCC has reacted to the report submitted by the Ayo Salami panel to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Mr Magu, who spoke through his lawyer, Wahab Shittu, said he would be vindicated by the report.

President Buhari on Friday received the Salami report that investigated the embattled former EFCC boss over allegations of corruption and insubordination.

The panel, headed by Ayo Salami, a retired president of the court of appeal, held behind closed doors for over four months at the presidential villa in Abuja.

The allegations were levelled against Mr Magu by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

Although the details of the report are yet to be made known to the public, Mr Magu has denied all the allegations of corruption against him.

While receiving the report, Mr Buhari expressed displeasure at what he described as an “abomination” that allegations of corruption should arise against some government institutions that are saddled with the responsibility of fighting graft.

He, therefore, said “In the fight against corruption, no one is too big to tackle, as no individual is bigger than the Nigerian State.

Mr Salami gave an account on the proceedings from the panel, disclosing that the Committee received a total of 113 witnesses and that of the accused (Mr Magu).

Mr Salami also said 46 petitions and memoranda were presented by individuals and organisations with complaints against the suspended acting EFCC chairperson.

But in its release, Mr Shittu criticised Mr Salami’s recommendation to the president that policemen should no longer be senior operatives of the EFCC.

He said the commission is a law enforcement agency, saying separating the police from the EFCC is anti-law enforcement.

Senior police officers usually occupy senior positions at the EFCC while others serve as investigators.

Junior police officers serve as security officials at EFCC buildings and facilities and also as a security cover for EFCC operatives when they go for arrests of suspects.

In the past few months, PREMIUM TIMES had reported how the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and the Salami panel had at separate times ordered the withdrawal of several police personnel attached to the commission, replacing them with new officers.

Mr Shittu also called on President to make informed decision and do the needful on the matter.

“We wish to state that all over the world, the police is central to law enforcement. The EFCC is a law enforcement agency, separating the police from the EFCC is anti-law enforcement.

“How come that Salami Panel did not say anything on alleged mismanagement recovered assets, insubordination and abuse of office against Mr Magu?

“We are further alarmed that Salami could in the public glare at the seat of power, attacked the police as an institution and recommended the exit of police officers from the EFCC within two years.

“We wish to ask at this juncture- what happened to the huge amount of money expended by the Federal Government on these police officers in terms of investigations, money laundering, and specialized economic crimes.

“Without preempting President Muhammadu Buhari on his decision over the report, we urge the President to make an informed decision and do the needful on the matter.

“We also wish to state with a high sense of responsibility that Magu remains incorruptible and his stellar achievements in EFCC is unprecedented in the history of the commission,” Mr Shittu said.


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