A counsel to the suspended acting chairman Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, Barr. Zainab Abiola has sworn an ‘Affidavit of Truth’ against a former president of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, asserting that he told the legal team that he regrets chairing the probe committee.
Recall that Salami said he never expressed regret accepting to chair the panel, describing as false the statement by Magu’s counsel that he regretted accepting the presidential appointment.
Salami’s panel also barred journalists from observing its proceedings, refused to appoint a spokesperson.
Barr Abiola had earlier said: ‘’I am ready to swear an affidavit on the matter. Salami is someone that is old enough to be my father, so I would not say something he did not say.”
However, Barr Abiola in the affidavit insisted that Justice Ayo Salami said he regretted accepting to head the presidential panel probing Magu.
She noted that soon after ‘’the chairman of the panel expressed his regrets and said amongst other things the following specific words: ‘I regret chairing this panel, honestly. Since 2013 I retired and went back to my place. What is all this? It is embarrassing, very embarrassing.’
Barr Tosin Ojaomo went up to him and specifically said the following words: ‘Your Lordship please don’t be embarrassed and don’t abdicate. This is a national assignment and we are all here for justice’ and everyone nodded in agreement.’’
She added that she believes that CCTV cameras are placed everywhere in the Presidential Villa to verify her claims.
The affidavit in the High Court of Federal Capital Territory Abuja reads in part: ‘’On the 25 of September, 2020 at about 11.35 am. I was at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Aso Rock with my client – the Acting Chairman of the EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission), Ibrahim Magu and our team of lawyers including Ojaomo and Wahab Shittu.
‘’Our mission was to defend our client and accord him legal representation, at the ongoing Panel of investigation, as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) in order to enforce his Fundamental Human Rights as a free citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
‘’On simultaneously entering the Panel Room upstairs, the first floor, and seeing the chairman Salami and the members of the panel we all greeted each other most respectfully. The general atmosphere was one of expectation from everyone in the room that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) would honour the Panel’s invitation to appear before it.’’