SALAMI PANEL INVITES DEFENCE MINISTER, CHIEF OF NAVAL STAFF, OTHERS

The Presidential panel probing the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has summoned the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas; and a former Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde

Others expected to appear before the panel include- the Director General of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, Modibbo Hamman-Tukur; EFCC’s Acting Director, Directorate of Asset Forfeiture and Recovery Management, Mr Aliyu Yusuf; an EFCC lawyer, Bala Sanga; and one Isa Dongoyaro.

They are all expected to respond to questions regarding allegations that Magu diverted some recovered funds and properties.

A copy of the summon, which was sighted by Saturday PUNCH is titled, ‘Subpoena Duces Dictum And Ad Testificandum’.

It was issued based on the Tribunals of Inquiry Act  (CAP T21, LFN, 2004).

It read in part, “You are commanded in the name of the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to attend this judicial commission of inquiry at Abuja from day to day until the above matter is tried for the purpose of giving evidence.”

Speaking with Saturday PUNCH on Friday, a lawyer to Magu, Prof. Zainab Abiola, said subpoenas had been sent out to the defence minister, chief of naval staff and Lamorde.

Abiola said she was optimistic that they would all honour the panel’s summons unlike Malami.

The lawyer said Malami’s refusal to appear before the panel was evidence that he had nothing against Magu.

She said it was shameful that an attorney-general who ought to know the law, could pretend to have constitutional immunity where there was none.

Abiola stated, “The AGF’s refusal to honour summons was a slap on the President because Justice Salami was empowered by the President to do what he is doing. Such actions should warrant a sack. It is obvious that he has no evidence against Magu and that is why the entire case is crumbling.

“I cannot sit and watch a political appointee like Malami disrespect a jurist in the standing of Justice Salami.”

When asked if those invited would come forward, she said, “They have been invited and they have been told clearly that the panel cannot round up unless they appear.”

Copyright PUNCH.

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