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EXCLUSIVE: Save my career, I’ve one year to retire – Magu begs Salami panel



Magu: Two months after, presidency yet to act on Salami’s report
Ibrahim Magu

Suspended chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, is said to be pleading with the Justice Ayo Salami-led presidential probe panel to save him over 12-point allegations of corruption and insubordination levelled against him by the attorney-general and minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, THE WITNESS learnt.

This newspaper had reported that the ex-EFCC boss who is being grilled by the presidential panel over abuse of office, extortion, financial improprieties and money laundering has been indicted alongside 11 others by the presidential panel. The panel, in its preliminary report, allegedly submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari, recommended Magu’s prosecution, while the 11 others are to face orderly room trial within police formations, and go on compulsory retirement for abuses ranging from extortion, intimidation and bribery. Reports have it that the evidence, submissions and testimony received by the probe panel when the federal government witnesses appeared were very damaging and overwhelming.

But latest information from a highly placed source close to the probe panel told THE WITNESS that at the close of Magu’s defence before the panel on Friday, 25th September 2020, the former EFCC chief broke down amidst tears begging Justice Salami to save his career.

While addressing the panel for the last time, Magu reportedly said amidst tears, “Please sir, save my career, I have one and a half years to retire,” the source said.

The EFCC boss further said that he regretted most of his actions while he held sway as the acting chairman of the EFCC, stressing that his “actions were due to overzealousness, in my quest to have the job done.”

Meanwhile, the Justice Salami-led panel is said to be awaiting further directives from the president.

Magu was on July 6, 2020 arrested by a combined team of Department of State Services personnel and policemen and taken to the Presidential Villa in Abuja to answer questions from an investigative panel headed by Justice Ayo Salami, a former president of the Appeal Court. He was detained for several days before being released on bail.

Mr Buhari had approved the establishment of the Salami panel, tagged the 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.