Magu’s lawyer reacts to Bawa’s appointment as EFCC boss
A lawyer and counsel to suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Tosin Ojaomo has reacted to the appointment of new anti-graft agency boss, saying justice has not been served regarding the probe of his client.
This statement was made by the suspended EFCC boss lawyer when he featured as a guest on a Channels Television programme on Tuesday.
Ojaomo said he was shocked by the recent appointment of a new EFCC chairman, when the report on the probe into Magu’s activities had not yet been released to the public.
Recall that Ibrahim Magu was suspended in July 2020 over allegations of mismanaging recovered loot, while he served as chairman of the EFCC.
However, earlier on Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari had asked the senate to confirm Abdulrasheed Bawa as the substantive chairman of the EFCC.
Reacting to the development, Ojaomo said he expected the presidency to conclude all matters regarding the probe of his client, before further action on the suspension.
“Sincerely, this appointment came to me as a shock. This is because what I was expecting is that there is still an unfinished assignment which was pending. I was expecting that the issue of Magu would have been sorted out before moving to another step. But unfortunately, we just got this news today that a new chairman has been nominated by the president and his name has been forwarded to the senate,” he said.
“When we talk of justice, you know what justice is all about. As the acting chairman of the commission, he was suspended for an allegation which has not been proven against him, and at the end of the day, the report which everybody was expecting, to know whether the man has been found wanting or not, was not released and another appointment was made.
“Justice clearly has not been done in this matter to Magu because we’re talking of people’s integrity. Reputational damage has been done to people. It’s not just about about Magu alone; there are other people that were suspended at the commission. So, the integrity of all these people is now at stake as if their matter is now forgotten.
“In this matter, justice has not been done to the Nigerian people, because everybody was expecting to know the outcome of this investigation. There was a lot of news in the media and people have now been put in suspense as to the outcome of the investigation.”
In November, the Ayo Salami-led panel had recommended Magu’s sack as the acting chairman of the EFCC, and asked the president to appoint a new chairman in an interim position for two years.
When asked if the president’s appointment meant the report was not in Magu’s favour, Ojaomo said it would be speculative to make such an assumption.
“It will be speculative to say the report was not in Magu’s favor. Ordinarily, enquiries have been made in this country, and at the end of the day, reports are released and people are able to make their own independent judgement from the report of the investigation,” he said.
“But in this case, an investigation was conducted and at the end of the day, the report was not released and it’s all media reports that people are relying on.
“The government is accountable to the people. The government ought to let the people know the reason for this decision. It is normal everywhere and it needs to be done like that.”