The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) will arraign Ibrahim Magu, suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CTC) any moment from now, TheCable understands.
According to sources in the know, Magu is to be prosecuted for allegedly failing to list a bank account in his asset declaration form. TheCable understands that the First Bank account had not been operated by Magu for 5 years and gone dormant.
The CCB has also listed a property in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, allegedly owned by Magu as part of the evidence to be used against him at the tribunal. Magu had previously been accused of owning properties in Dubai, Lagos and Abuja — but it now appears there is no substance to the allegations. His team has maintained that he owns only one house and it is in Karu, a suburb in the federal capital territory (FCT).
“We thought they said he owned houses in Dubai and Banana Island but now it is a phantom property in Port Harcourt that is being linked to him,” a member of his team told TheCable.
Magu, who was named acting chairman of the EFCC in 2015 and was never confirmed until his suspension in July 2020, had been invited by the CCB to answer questions on his asset declaration. This came at the time he was also being investigated by the Justice Ayo Salami panel, which has now recommended his sack and prosecution for alleged corruption in office — an allegation Magu has consistently denied. Magu failed to appear before the CCB, citing his lack of access to the documents being requested.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Wahab Shittu, counsel to Magu, denied that the suspended chairman shunned the bureau. Below is the full text of his statement.
Our attention has been drawn to certain media reports where it was reported that our client, the suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, shunned the invitation of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
We wish to state that our client did not shun the CCC invitation as the media reportage did not reflect the true position of the narrative. We wish to state with high sense of responsibility that we have written 2 letters to the Chairman of the CBB, intimating him about the inability of our client to have access to the relevant documents as required by the CCB.
The letters, which were dated November 16 and 17, 2020, were addressed to the CCB Chairman. The letters were titled- Re: Investigation of Activities- Letter of Invitation, Breach of Code of Conduct for Public Officers. Please note that the letters were stamped and acknowledged by the office of the CCB Chairman on the said date of November 17, 2020. We also wish to state the said letters were copied to the Director of Intelligence, Investigation and Monitoring while the letters were also stamped and acknowledged by his office.
Explaining the inability of our client to honour the invitation, we stated as follows:
“Your letter dated November 2, 2020 with reference No.-CCB/HQ/II & M/007/2093 addressed to our client has been passed unto us to respond to as follows:
“In the referred letter, our client was requested to appear before your distinguished body on Tuesday, November 17, 2020 at 11am prompt concerning the above subject matter. We have firm instructions to inform your distinguished body that our client, regrettably will not be able to honour today’s invitation in view of certain circumstances beyond his control.
“Our client’s inability to honour your invitation is as a result of his inability to access his office and the requested documents since his suspension from office. We wish to inform you that the documents which you requested for and other personal documents are still in his personal office where he has been denied access up to date. The relevant documents include:
1. Acknowledgement slips of all Magu’s assets declaration to the Code of Conduct since he joined Public service.
“We request that the invitation to our client be extended pending the conclusion of the exercise of the mandate of the presidential Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up against our client and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). This request has become necessary since most of the documents requested by your Bureau, were removed from our client’s offices by the Department of State Security Service (DSS) and the request of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry in the absence of our client while our client was in detention.
“Based on the foregoing, it would be impossible for our client to answer your questions and provide those documents which are in the possession of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry and the Department of State Security Service (DSS). We therefore kindly request your distinguished body to graciously extend the invitation extended to our client pending the return of our client’s documents (which you requested).
“We further wish to inform you that we are writing a letter to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, requesting it to direct the Acting EFCC boss to allow our client access to the relevant documents. Please note that there is the need for our client to have access to the relevant documents in order to prepare for his defence to your invitation.
“In the circumstances, until such a time when our client gains access to his personal files in his office where most of the requested documents are, it is impracticable to honour your invitation, even if our client is willing to do so as an obedient and patriotic citizen.
“Thank you in anticipation of your cooperation in the above regard. Please accept our professional regards.”