By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA— Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, has given Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, 48 hours to explain why the agency filed corruption charges against Chairman of Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, Mr. Danladi Umar.
Malami, in his letter dated February 16, with reference No DPP/ADV:368/15, said the clarification was necessitated by the fact that EFCC under Magu, had on two occasions, cleared the CCT boss of complicity in the N10 million bribery allegation upon which the charge was based.
The AGF said the EFCC chairman should, in his response to the query, clarify whether he, indeed, gave instruction or directive for the charge to be filed, and if in the affirmative, explain the compelling basis for the action.
Magu was specifically directed to submit his response to the query, which was signed by Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary at Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Dayo Apata, before Tuesday, February 20.
In a related development, the AGF, in a separate letter with reference No DPP/ADV:369/15, asked Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo, SAN, to confirm whether indeed he was engaged by EFCC to prosecute the charge against the CCT Chairman.
Keyamo was also given till Tuesday to furnish the Office of the AGF in writing, detail of who gave him the FIAT (authority) to file the charges.
The AGF’s letter to Keyamo read: “The attention of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation was drawn to news report that you have filed charges of corruption against the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Hon. Justice Danladi Umar, before the FCT High Court.
“The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation hereby requests that you kindly furnish this office with the details of the instruction or authorization upon which you instituted the case under reference. Kindly accord this letter top priority while your prompt response on or before Tuesday, February 20, 2018 is solicited in this regard”
Group asks court to sack CCT Chairman
Meanwhile, a group under the aegis of Kingdom Human Rights Foundation, yesterday, approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, asking it to order the CCT chairman to vacate his office pending the determination of the charge against him.
The group, in its originating summons marked FHC/ABJ/CS/172/2018, insisted that the CCT boss has breached the code of conduct for public officers and should, henceforth, stop presiding over the tribunal.
More so, the plaintiff, through its lawyer, Mr. Okere Nnamdi, filed motion ex-parte for leave of court to apply for an order of mandamus to compel President Muhammadu Buhari and National Assembly to commence the process of removing Umar as the CCT Chairman.