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Fraud allegations: PDP tasks Presidential Panel over Magu’s boast of reinstatement

  Fraud allegations: PDP tasks Presidential Panel over Magu’s boast of reinstatement

The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said the boast by suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, that he would be cleared and reinstated despite the allegations against him, is a huge affront on the integrity of the ongoing inquest by the Justice Ayo Salami-led Presidential Investigative Panel on the activities of the EFCC.

The party in a statement yesterday said Nigerians were shocked when counsel to suspended EFCC acting chairman, Wahab Shittu, boastfully declared that he has Magu’s instruction to inform the public that “he will be reinstated back to the office.”

Signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said Nigerians are unease that such assertive statement by Magu’s lawyer holds more than meet the eyes and portrays the Presidential Panel as well as the Buhari Presidency as having compromised the probe.

The statement reads: “Our party hopes that this is not a case of corruption fighting back in a frantic effort to shield accused persons from prosecution.

“Already, the statement by Magu’s counsel has heightened public concerns that the probe have become a sham and that the allegations against Magu will eventually be swept under the carpet despite demands by Nigerians to prosecute the suspended EFCC boss in a court of competent jurisdiction.

“There are also allegations that the EFCC under Magu was more interested in securing a conviction and not justice; for which innocent citizens were harassed with trumped-up charges, denied bail, allegedly made to make a statement in custody without the services of their lawyers and convicted on media trial even before being allowed to defend themselves in court.

“Moreover, there are also insinuations in the public space that the EFCC under Magu was harassing certain judges to get a conviction in cases, in addition to the manifest selective persecution in which no member of the current administration, including those who have been openly indicted for corruption, have been prosecuted by the EFCC.

“The statement by Magu, through his counsel, is, therefore, a direct slap on the integrity of our justice system and the fight against corruption in Nigeria.

“What Nigerians and indeed the global community expect is for the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari, the African Union, AU, Anti-Corruption Champion, to take immediate steps to arraign the suspended EFCC Chairman before a court of competent jurisdiction to defend and clear his name over the very weighty allegations that have been brought against him. Anything short of this will only signpost a huge compromise in the matter.”

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