Says nothing wrong with suspension
By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
A leading anti-corruption Civil Society Organisation, CSO, the Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, Wednesday, called for a fair hearing in all allegations leveled against the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu.
The call was made in a statement signed by the Executive Director, ANEEJ, Rev David Ugolor, where the organization said nothing wrong with the suspension handed to Magu as it was in line with the law.
According to the statement, Magu’s suspension should pave way for unbiased investigation by the panel set up to look into the allegations and for him to give his side of the issues raised against him.
On Monday, according to reports Magu has spent two nights in a cell at the Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) Headquarters in Abuja, after a six-hour grilling by the presidential panel, chaired by a former President of Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, to probe various allegations leveled against Magu, following a petition by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the Department of State Service (DSS).
The statement reads in part, “The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ has welcomed the suspension of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) Mr. Ibrahim Magu by President Muhammadu Buhari, but urges that he should be given a fair hearing in all allegations leveled against him as provided for by the laws of the land.
“His suspension from any rational reasoning should be to pave way for unbiased investigation.
“What President Buhari has demonstrated with his action is that nobody is above the law and if Magu can be interrogated and suspended, then it is an important lesson for all Nigerians. It is an important aspect of democracy and lessons in the fight against corruption in the country.
“While we welcome the procedure of President Muhammadu Buhari to suspend Mr. Magu from office as he is undergoing investigation, we request that he should be treated only as a suspect and be given a fair hearing. He should be allowed access to his lawyers and be charged to court within 24 hours as allowed by the law.
“We are aware that he was taken for questioning before a presidential panel yesterday and detained later. Whatever are the allegations against him, as a citizen of Nigeria, he is entitled to the due process of the law and the law should be cautiously followed in handling his case.”
The statement also cautioned that “The Federal Government understands that this is a high-profile case that will attract international attention and as such, should be guided by the rule of law in handling this matter at all stages.”