The ongoing trial of the former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Mr. Ibrahim Magu took a new turn yesterday as the  Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami took up the challenge from Ibrahim Magu expressing readiness to testify against the suspended acting chairman of the EFCC if the presidential investigative panel extends invitation to him.

Abubakar Malami

Mr Magu is currently being investigated by a panel headed by Mr Salami, a former president of the Court of Appeal, over allegations of graft and insubordination levelled against him by Mr Malami. Mr Malami’s complaint led to the suspension of Mr Magu as acting EFCC chairman, after the investigation of the activities of the latter at the EFCC from May 2015 to May 2020.

The AGF was reacting to a letter by Wahab Shittu, counsel to Mr Magu, dated September 4 and addressed to the committee chairman, demanding that Mr Malami, appear before the panel to provide evidence regarding his allegations against his client. He said his appearance before the tribunal of Inquiry would 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.

Mr Malami, while speaking on Arise TV on Wednesday, expressed willingness to be cross-examined by the panel “if needed by the panel.”He said as a public official in government, it is needed to be submissive to the rule of law and the rule of law component in the country. He said that he has honoured “uncountable invitations” for clarification on issues in the past, saying the case of Salami will not be an exception.

“So, if indeed the Ayo Salami panel invites Abubakar Malami as a person or the AGF in the person of Abubakar Malami for any testimony, for any clarification, for examination or cross-examination for that matter, Abubakar Malami will wholeheartedly, gladly, within the spirit and context of the rule of law, be there to testify, be there to be cross-examined, be there to be examined within the context of the rule of law. “Our position, as a government, is to be submissive to the rule of law and the rule of law component of it requires that when we are called upon to clarify issues, when we are called upon to be examined when we are called upon to be cross-examined. “Abubakar Malami will be there and will gladly cooperate with the inquiry institution and that indeed was an attribute of the government that translated to the victory we are seeing today arising from P&ID.

“Abubakar Malami has along the line, within the chain of the arbitral process, submitted to uncountable invitations, responded to uncountable requests for clarification of issues and indeed executed uncountable witness statements for the purpose of putting the record straight and the case of Salami will certainly not be an exception.”

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