The Ayo Salami-led panel has been called out by the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, for verifying seized assets without the presence of his lawyers or himself.
The embattled EFCC boss noted that it is unfortunate that he closed his defence about two weeks ago without the panel giving him the chance to prove his innocence.
Magu stated this in a statement released through his lawyer, Wahab Shittu.
Shittu noted that his client has nothing to hide, unlike the panel, which it claimed allegedly refused to give him fair hearing.
The statement said: “Our attention has just been drawn to a sponsored and jaundiced story in which our client, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, the suspended Acting Chairman of the EFCC, is being portrayed in a negative light by Justice Isa Salami-led Judicial Commission of Enquiry.”
“In the story, the panel was quoted as saying that Magu did not give satisfactory answers to its questions on recovered assets.”
“The story had said the panel was embarking on verification of seized assets across the country in the absence of our client or his counsel, in spite of our client being the main subject of enquiry by virtue of the instruments establishing the Judicial Commission of Enquiry.”
“It is an exercise in futility for the panel to conduct verification of recovered assets in the absence of Magu and his lawyers and thereafter proceed to write a report without clarification from him.”
“Ordinarily, we would have ignored the media report, like the previous orchestrated stories against our client.”
“But we are of the opinion that the timing is suspicious and there is the need to take up issues with the media report on the grounds that the reporter quoted sources close to the panel as the arrowheads of the story with a predetermined agenda.”
“It is on records that our client closed his defence two weeks ago without the opportunity to call any witness to strengthen his innocence as applications to call witnesses and subpoena certain individuals, including AGF Abubakar Malami (SAN), were blatantly refused by Justice Salami.”