EFCC PROBE:: MAGU DRAGS ATTORNEY – GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION, MALAMI TO SALAMI PANEL * Ask Salami led panel to summon him

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Suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu on Monday asked Justice Isa Ayo Salami Judicial Commission of Inquiry to summon the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN).

Magu said the AGF should be brought to substantiate his allegations against him, insisting that only the invitation of Malami can give him fair hearing.

He said since the AGF was his main accuser, he should be allowed to cross-examine him.

Magu’s request was made in a September 4 letter to the Justice Salami through his counsel, Mr. Wahab Shittu.

The letter reads: “We remain counsel of choice to Mr. Ibrahim Magu, the suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), hereinafter referred to as ‘our client’ and on whose behalf and specific instructions as we write as follows:

We hereby apply for the issuance of a Subpoena Ad Testificandum and Subpoena Duces Tecum on the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) to appear before this Judicial Commission of Inquiry to give evidence concerning his memo to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari in connection with the subject matter of this inquiry titled;
Flagrant abuse of public office and other infractions committed by Mr. Ibrahim Magu, acting Chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), being extracts of pending petitions”.
He hinged his request to bring Malami to testify on Section 5(c) of the Tribunals of Inquiry Act 2004 which deals with the powers of the tribunal with regard to conduct of proceedings.

Read Also: Malami denies conspiracy in ‘witch-hunt of Magu’
The section says: “The power to summon any person in Nigeria to attend any meeting of the tribunal to give evidence or produce any document or other thing in his possession and to examine him as a witness or require him to produce any document or other thing in his possession, subject to all just exceptions.

“Summons issued under this paragraph may be in Form A in the schedule to this act and shall be served by the police or by such person as the members may direct.”

Magu also said Section 6 of the Tribunals of Inquiry Act 2004 empowers the chairman of the commission to issue summons.

Section 6 says: “Where more members than one constitute a tribunal, the chairman shall have power on behalf of the tribunal all such summonses, subpoenas and other processes and make such necessary appointments as may be required under this Act either before or during the inquiry until the submission of the tribunal’s final report”

He said he opted to ask the panel to invite the AGF because a memo widely circulated on the social media by Malami triggered the proceedings.

He said in the memo, the AGF accused him of not acting in the overall-best interest of the country and the policies of this administration due to its “Mismanagement and lack of transparency in managing recovered assets among others”.

He said since the AGF was his main accuser, he should be allowed to cross-examine him.

The letter added: “We believe that consistent with the fundamental principles of fair hearing as guaranteed under Section 36 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.

“Our client is entitled to be confronted with copies of allegations against him as well as the opportunity to confront his main accuser (in this case, the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation) to enable our client raise issues concerning the allegations and cross-examine the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation on the substance and credibility of his allegations against our client.

“Section 36 (1) of the constitution provides; “In the determination of his civil rights and obligations, including any question or determination by or against any government or authority, a person shall be entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by a court or other tribunal established by law and constituted in such manner as to secure its independence and impartiality”

“Please, refer to SECTION 36 (6) (A) (B) (C) (D) CFRN 1999 which provides as follows:

Every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be entitled to be informed promptly in the language that he understands and in details of the nature of the offence;
be given adequate time and facility for the preparation of his defence;
Defend himself in person or by, legal practitioners of his own choice;
Examine, in person or by his legal practitioners, the witnesses called by the prosecution before any court or tribunal and obtain the attendance and carry out the examination of witnesses to testify on his behalf before the court or tribunal on the same conditions as those applying to the witnesses called by the prosecution.
“Based on the foregoing, we humbly request that the Honourable Attorney-General who is the main accuser in these proceedings be graciously invited to give evidence in connection with the subject matter of this inquiry with specific reference to our client in the interest of fair hearing.

“We believe this request ought to be resolved before our client is called upon to enter his defence in these proceedings.”

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