The suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has explained why he declined to submit himself to the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, to answer questions about his assets.
Magu, through his lawyer, Mr. Wahab Shittu, said it would be “impracticable” for him to face the CCB, when some documents relating to his declared assets, were inside his office as at the time he was arrested on the order of the Justice Isa Ayo Salami-led Presidential Judicial Commission of Inquiry that probed sundry allegations that were levelled against him by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN.
He alleged that some of the documents the CCB asked him to produce before it, were carted away by officers of the Department of State Service, DSS, at the behest of the investigative panel, while he was in detention.
Consequently, Magu said it would be impossible for him to answer to questions or produce documents that are in possession of the DSS and the panel. In the alternative, he urged the Bureau to extend the invitation it issued to him, pending the return of the documents to him.
It will be recalled that the CCB had in a letter dated November 2, requested Magu whom it described as “former Chairman” of the EFCC, to appear before it with documents of all his landed properties, both developed and undeveloped.
He was equally directed to produce acknowledgement slips of all the asset declarations he made since he joined public service.
The CCB, in the letter that was signed by its Director of Intelligence, Investigation & Monitoring, Gwimi S. P, stressed that all the requested documents must be the Certified True Copies, CTC. Other documents the ousted EFCC boss was ordered to make available to the Bureau, including copies of his Appointment Letter, Acceptance, Records of Service and Pay Slips from January to May, 2020.
The Bureau said it was investigating a case of an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers, that was brought against Magu.
It said the summon was made pursuant to the mandate and power of the CCB, as enshrined in the 3 Schedule, Part 1, Paragraph 3 (e) to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended; Section 137 (a) and (b) and 138 (a) and (b) of Penal Code Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 and Section 104 of evidence Act 2011.
Statutorily, the CCB, has the powers to investigate allegations of infractions in asset declaration as well as breach of the code of conduct by public officers.
At the end of such investigation, public officers that are found wanting, are referred to the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, for prosecution.
Upon conviction by the CCT, such public officer could among other sanctions, be made to forfeit assets to the Federal Government or barred from holding any public office for a period of 10 years.
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