Suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu says he has not appeared before by the Presidential Committee on Audit of Recovered Assets (PCARA) since Thursday.
He said he last appeared before the panel about a week ago.
Counsel to the embattled chairman Wahab Shittu, disclosed Magu’s concern in a letter written and submitted to the panel on Wednesday.
Magu was arrested on July 6 over allegations of failure to properly account for loot recovered under his watch between May 2015 and May 2020.
He was later moved to Area 10, force criminal investigation department (FCID) in Abuja, where he has spent the night since his arrest.
According to Shittu, his client has not been brought before the panel between Thursday and Tuesday, and has instead arrived at the venue on the listed days only to wait from 9am to 9pm before being taken back into custody. On Wednesday at the time filing this report, he was yet to appear before the panel.
He said the clarification became necessary after it was reported that Magu was grilled by the panel on Monday.
The allegation that our client was grilled by the Panel on Monday, 13th July, 2020, as reported above is complete falsehood,” the letter read.
“The correct position was that our client and his Counsel (Mr. Wahab Shittu) arrived the venue of the ongoing Investigations on Monday 13th July, 2020 by 9am. Our client and his Counsel were kept at the waiting room of the venue of the sittings unattended to from 9am to 9pm when our client was taken back to custody.
“This followed the same pattern on Thursday and Friday last week when our client waited for 12 hours without being called upon by the Panel to partake in the proceedings. Witnesses called by the Panel were interrogated by the Panel without the participation of our client or his Counsel in the proceedings. This was also the pattern on Tuesday, 14th July, 2020. Our client chose to wait patiently on the panel.”
Shittu said the suspended EFCC boss was yet to officially receive a copy of the allegations against him, and requested the panel to ask the Inspector General of Police to release him from custody to enable him to prepare properly for his defence.
Magu also requested to be released so that he could attend to his health.
“Our client is spending the 9th day in custody without being given copy of the allegations against him to enable him formally respond to same. Our client is ready to formally respond to allegations and furnish documentary evidence in support if served with the copy of the allegations,” he said.
“Our client respectfully demands the following: A copy of the report of the Presidential Audit Committee; a copy of the memo of HAGF to the President on our client; individual Petitions submitted to the Panel against our client.
“Our client observes that rather being afforded copies of the allegations against him, some of these allegations are flying round on social media platforms with prejudicial consequences.
“Our client requests that these allegations be formally served on him to enable him respond to same immediately.
“Our client observes that the Panel has issued official statement to the effect that it did not authorise the detention of our client. We request the Panel to recommend to the Inspector General of Police in whose custody our client is to release him from custody to enable him adequately prepare his defence and attend to his failing health. We plead with the authorities to release our client from custody.” The police had earlier said any request for his release should be directed at the panel.
The lawyer also denied all allegations against Magu, including the said attempt to “spirit” him away from custody, adding that the charges are “trumped-up allegations designed to tarnish his image and rubbish the credibility and image of EFCC which has been stellar and outstanding under our client’s watch”.