Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General of the Federation, has declined to testify before the presidential panel investigating Ibrahim Magu, the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Malami informed the panel led by Justice Ayo Salami that he would not be able to appear before the investigative body because of the privileges of his office.
The turnaround comes less than two weeks after the AGF said that he would appear before the panel to testify if he was invited.
Magu’s legal team led by Wahab Shittu had demanded that Malami appears before the panel to substantiate the allegations he preferred against the suspended EFCC boss.
However, it was learnt that during the sitting of the panel on Wednesday, Salami read out a letter from Malami stating that he would no longer be able to appear.
Tosin Ojaomo, a lawyer to Magu, confirmed that Malami indicated he will no longer appear before the panel.
He said: “We were all gathered at the Presidential Villa for the day’s proceedings when Justice Salami read out a letter from the AGF. The AGF stated that he would not be able to testify because his constitutional role does not include testifying. He said his duty was to prosecute and file charges.
“I was shocked because Section 174 of the constitution does not give the AGF such privileges. Isn’t it funny that the AGF who levelled a series of allegations against Magu is now refusing to substantiate the allegations that emanated from his office?”
Magu was suspended in July based on some reports by investigative panels set up by the AGF.
Some of the allegations were that Magu was unable to account for the interest accrued to over N500bn in recovered funds and that he allegedly bought a house in Dubai for N570m.
The suspended EFCC boss was also said to be at loggerheads with the AGF and had refused to obey instructions from his office.