The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, on Thursday, September 24, penned a letter to the Presidential panel probing the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, asking to be recused from testifying.
Malami cited ‘privileges of his office’ in the letter delivered to the panel led by Justice Ayo Salami.
This development comes in the wake of a statement attributed to the AGF boasting that he would appear before the panel to testify if he was invited.
1st News had reported that Magu’s legal team led by Mr. Wahab Shittu, had subpoenaed Malami.
They demanded that he appear 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.
Confirming the incident, a lawyer to Magu, Mr. Tosin Ojaomo, said they were all shocked when Justice Salami read out the letter.
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?”
President Muhammadu Buhari had suspended Magu 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.
Over 40 persons including those standing trial for corruption have testified before the panel; a move which has been criticised by Magu’s team and other anti-corruption groups.
The panel is supposed to have ended its sitting since last month; but was given a six-week extension which lapses this month.