Ibrahim Magu, suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has complained about the treatment being meted out to him by the presidential panel investigating him over alleged corruption.
Magu lamented that he is being paraded and treated like a common criminal.
He claimed that he is a target of campaigns of calumny, which he said has been taking advantage of his detention to spread damaging, false and prejudicial allegations against him.
Since Monday, the suspended acting chairman of the agency has been in detention at the Force Criminal Investigation Department’s Area 10 Abuja headquarters, from where he had been appearing before the panel at the State House.
The investigative committee is set up based on the Tribunals of Inquiry Act, a government statement said on Friday.
However, speaking through his lawyer, Wahab Shittu, in a letter directed to the investigative committee on Friday, Magu said he had not seen the petitions containing the allegations against him, and that the committee has not availed him with their terms of reference.
“Mr Chairman, since the 6th of July when our client honoured your invitation, he has been consistently applying to the Committee to be given the petitions containing the allegations of CONSPIRACY, CORRUPT ENRICHMENT, ABUSE OF POWER/OFFICE, which request has not been honoured or obliged till date”, the letter read
“Our client has also informed us that he remains unaware of the terms of reference of this distinguished Committee”.
The letter also related Magu’s discomfort with his continued detention at the FCID “without being informed of the allegations against him and the deserved opportunity to timeously study and respond to same”.
The letter further contained a complaint that, “witnesses are called and examined by the Committee behind his back and without allowing him and counsel of his choice to participate in the proceedings involving these witnesses”.
Among such “unfounded allegations which never featured in the proceedings of the Committee thus far, were that Mr Magu gave Vice President Yemi Osinbajo four billion naira (an allegation Mr Osinbajo has denied); that he ran secret accounts; procured cronies to front for him;, and that he acquired properties in Dubai”.
“These campaigns of calumny have greatly affected the morale of our client and damaged his hard earned reputation and that of the Commission (EFCC).
“It continued, “that our client as a result of this campaign of calumny has been paraded like a common criminal and subjected to all manners of insults and embarrassment just for serving his nation diligently and efficiently as the arrow-head of the anti-corruption campaign of this administration.
“This unfortunate development is happening even before the determination of the petitions before this Honourable Committee with prejudicial consequences”, it added.
Magu, then made seven requests from the committee, including its terms of reference; access to the petitions against him to “enable him study and prepare a robust defence; intervention of the committee to facilitate his release from the FCID detention; and adequate time to respond to the allegations against him with necessary materials and evidence.”
He also sought an opportunity to confront the petitioners with his own defence; and requested that witnesses be examined in his presence and his counsel.
He then asked the committee to guarantee “his right to fair hearing including his right to liberty in the course of the proceedings of this distinguished Committee.”