Wahab Shittu, the counsel to the suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has written another letter to the Ayo Salami-led investigative panel, demanding that the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, appear before the panel and provide evidence regarding his allegations against his client.
The lawyer, in a letter dated September 4 and addressed to the committee chairman, said the appearance of the AGF before the tribunal of Inquiry is to ensure a fair hearing.
Citing Sections 5(c) and 6 of the Tribunals of Inquiry Act 2004, Mr Shittu said the tribunal has “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.
He added that the request is in compliance with Section 36 of the Nigerian Constitution.
In a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Malami, whose complaint led to the suspension of Mr Magu as acting EFCC chairman, and his current investigation before the presidential panel headed by Ayo Salami, a former president of the appeal court, accused the suspended EFCC boss of corruption and insubordination.
Mr Buhari had in July approved the establishment of a Judicial Commission of Enquiry under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act (Cap T21, LFN, 2004), for the investigation of the activities of the EFCC from May 2015 to May 2020.
Mr Magu has repeatedly denied the allegations, describing them as baseless.
“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,” Mr Shittu wrote.
“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.
Mr Shittu also requested that his client participate in the entirety of the proceedings and afforded the opportunity to cross-examine all witnesses in these proceedings.
The latest letter is one of many letters written by the lawyer to the panel; demanding fair hearing and provision of copies of relevant exhibits against his client from the proceedings of the committee.
The lawyer has also accused the panel of violating his client’s constitutional right to a fair hearing, describing it as a violation of President Buhari’s letter setting up the panel.