Malami backtracks, declines panel’s invitation to testify against Magu

Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), has declined to appear before the presidential panel investigating Ibrahim Magu, suspended chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

On Wednesday, the AGF declined an invitation to appear before the panel to testify against Magu whom he accused of corruption and abuse of office.

This is contrary to his earlier statement that he would “gladly” obey if the panel summoned him in the ongoing probe.

Magu is being investigated by the panel headed by Ayo Salami, retired president of the appeal court, over allegations of corruption.

The AGF had accused him of “not acting in the overall best interest of the country and the policies of this administration due to its mismanagement and lack of transparency in managing recovered assets” among other allegations.

Wahab Shittu, Magu’s counsel, recently wrote to the presidential panel asking it to summon Malami to prove the allegations against his client.

In response, the AGF said he would comply, in line with the current administration’s respect for the rule of law, if summoned.

Speaking during an Arise TV programme, he had said: “If indeed the Ayo Salami panel invites Abubakar Malami as a person or the AGF in the person of Abubakar Malami for any testimony, for any clarification, for examination or cross-examination for that matter, Abubakar Malami will wholeheartedly, gladly within the spirit and context of the rule of law be there to testify, be there to be cross-examined, be there to be examined within the context of the rule of law.”

He also said he had responded to summons by various panels in similar investigations, and so, “the case of Salami will certainly not be an exception”.

He was subsequently subpoenaed and asked to appear, and  “give evidence” in respect to his allegations against the former EFCC chairman.

But instead of honouring the invitation, the AGF wrote to the panel, saying he would not appear before it because of the privileges of his office.

 Magu’s defence team could not immediately be reached, but The PUNCH quoted one of his lawyers as saying Malami said his duty is to prosecute and file charges, and not to testify.

The AGF did not answer calls  to his phone and he is yet to reply to a text message sent, regarding the development which comes after Magu alleged foul play in his probe.

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