The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami SAN, has ignored the Judicial Commission of Inquiry headed by the retired President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami’s subpoena issued to him.
The subpoena was issued by the Chairman of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to investigate the allegations he leveled against the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) , Ibrahim Magu.Magu had consistently requested the opportunity to confront his accuser before the Panel, including an opportunity to be given the allegations leveled against him by the Attorney General of the Federation.
Malami failed to appear before the Commission of Inquiry to substantiate the allegations he leveled against Magu in the memo he wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari which was the basis upon which the Judicial Commission of Inquiry was set up by the President.It was learnt that after the conclusion of presentation of witnesses before the Commission of Inquiry, Magu was called upon to present his defence which he has done by presenting a volumes of written responses to all the allegations against him, backed by numerous exhibits and truck load of documents showing his achievements as the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and official documents showing that no recovered assets was missing or diverted to personal use for his benefit or those of his close associates.
Magu had also requested before the Tribunal to issue subpoenas to certain persons to appear before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry to give evidence in support of their allegations and to be cross-examined upon such wild and unsubstantiated allegations.In line with Magu’s request, Justice Ayo Salami who is the Chairman of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry signed and issued a Subpoena to the Attorney General of the Federation to appear before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry to come and substantiate the allegations he made against Magu.
In the said Subpoena, it was stated as follows: “You are hereby Commanded in the name of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to appear before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry to give evidence in respect of your allegations against Mr Ibrahim Magu.”
It was learnt that instead of appearing before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, Malami wrote a letter in disobedience to the subpoena issued for him to appear on the authority of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria stating that he would not appear as a witness.
He hinged his refusal on the fact that he only made charges against Magu based on the petitions he received against him in his office. Analysts said that Malami’s excuse is untenable and is clearly a contempt of judicial authority and shows total disregard for the authority of President Muhammadu Buhari on whose authority the subpoena was issued, requesting his appearance before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry.
A few weeks back, Malami had taken to the media, boasting to the whole world that he would appear before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry if summoned to do so. “Now that the opportunity has been presented, he is shying away from that call because his allegations cannot be substantiated with facts or any shred of credible evidence.
The position of the law is clear, whenever a Petitioner refuses to substantiate his petition before the appropriate authority, such a petition is declared to be frivolous.
“Now that the main accuser of Mr Ibrahim Magu has refused to appear before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, the world waits with bated breath to see what justice Ayo Salami Judicial Commission of Inquiry will report to President Muhammadu Buhari.”
Meanwhile, Magu has again, challenged anyone who would prove that he offered him bribe or accepted bribe from him to come out.In his defense before the presidential panel, Magu had consistently said that he had never received any bribe from anyone in his life.