Magu: Why I turned down invitation by Ayo Salami panel – Malami

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Contrary to his public declaration to honour any invitation by the Justice Ayo Salami-led panel probing the suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), on Thursday, recant on his promise, saying his decision not to honour the panel was based on constitutional consideration.

Speaking through his spokesperson, Mr. Umar Gwandu, Malami said the wordings of the invitation extended to him were unconstitutional.

Recall that Magu had applied to the Salami panel to subpoena Malami to appear before the panel to testify, tender documents and be cross-examined since he was the main accuser whose memo to the President triggered the setting up of the panel.

Malami’s Thursday’s statement justifying his decision not to honour the invitation by panel was a clear departure from his previous pledge on the national television.

But he said in the statement that he had no ulterior motive for not honouring the invitation.

The statement read, “Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has said that his non-appearance at Justice Ayo Salami Panel of Inquiry probing the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, was purely Constitutional and not based on any ulterior motive.”

The statement said inviting the AGF “to serve as a witness in any investigation should be a constitutional matter.”

It added, “In establishing propriety or otherwise of the presence of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice whose responsibility is to hold constitutional order, one must root same within the constitutional provisions.

“The terms and wordings of the invitation extended to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice by Justice Ayo Panel of inquiry against Magu run contrary to the Constitutional provisions.

“The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice is by the provision of the Constitution and extant laws empowered to play a supervisory role. In the case of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has been discharging the role effectively.”

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