September 20, 2020

My News on Point

Daily News Update From Top News Blog Around The World | Your News on The Go

How Salami panel walked us out from sitting

3 min read

A lawyer, Zainab Abiola, has given details of an episode on Monday when she appeared as a member of the defence team of the suspended EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu, before the Ayo Salami-led investigative panel.

There were reports that Mrs Abiola, a widow of the late Moshood Abiola, was walked out from a sitting of the panel alongside another lawyer, Aliyu Lemu.

The reports said shortly after the panel commenced sitting, Justice Salami said only the lead counsel, Wahab Shittu, would be allowed to represent Mr Magu and, therefore, asked his two other lawyers to leave.

The panel, headed by Mr Salami, a former President of the Appeal Court ,is investigating allegations of corruption and insubordination over which Mr Magu was suspended from his EFCC role.

President Muhammadu Buhari had in July approved the establishment of a Judicial Commission of Enquiry under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act (Cap T21, LFN, 2004), for the investigation of the activities of the EFCC from May 2015 to May 2020

READ ALSO: Magu writes Salami panel, speaks on allegations, makes demands

When PREMIUM TIMES contacted Mrs Abiola on Tuesday, she said the retired judge walked them out on the ground that the panel had only one chair for the defence team.

She described the action as an abrogation of Mr Magu’s constitutional right, insisting that Mr Salami cannot determine the number of legal representatives of Mr Magu

“If you are going to any court, you are entitled to as many legal representatives, in the high courts, the Supreme court, and the appeal court which Salami operated in; even at that level, you can take as many as you can.

“Some counsel can be experts in cross-examination while others can be experts in different fields. One is entitled to much legal representation.

“This right also applies in other countries where the law provides an accused with the right to legal representation. On that hand, Magu’s constitutional right was abrogated.

“We went in with Ibrahim Magu with his team of lawyers led by Wahab Shittu. Before going in, Mr Salami saw me, he greeted me very well and others. As we were at the waiting room, we saw some men suspected to be members of the SSS taking out some chairs from the room where the panel was holding.

“Then they invited us in but during the introduction by Mr Wahab we were told that as we could see, there were not enough chairs in the room. But we recalled that they took chairs out from the room.

Dangote adbanner 728x90_2 (1)

“I told him ‘if you say there are no chairs, send for more chairs’. That was a deliberate action.”

She also faulted the panel for conducting a private hearing.

Mr Magu’s probe began after his arrest in July at the EFCC’s Wuse II office following which he was immediately driven to the Presidential Villa. His investigation has continued behind closed doors with journalists barred from covering the panel’s hearings.

Although the Tribunals of Inquiry Act provides for public sitting, it says a panel has “in its absolute discretion, to admit or exclude the public or any member of the public or the press from any meeting of the tribunal.”

Mrs Abiola said that discretion is “tilted towards the overriding interest of the public. Magu is not an unknown person that can be put under the table and forgotten about.

“He (Magu) is known by many persons across the world for his efforts towards fighting corruption, so it’s not a matter we can give under the table or say just one counsel can represent him.”


PT Mag Campaign AD

Source link

Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Us
  • Contribute to MyNewsonPoint - Register to become an author to contribute with your knowledge.
  • Send breaking news, releases, photos or videos of happenings around the world Us via
Live Updates COVID-19 CASES
  • World 30,986,826
    Confirmed: 30,986,826
    Active: 7,438,637
    Recovered: 22,586,789
    Death: 961,400
  • USA 6,967,403
    Confirmed: 6,967,403
    Active: 2,539,886
    Recovered: 4,223,693
    Death: 203,824
  • UK 390,358
    Confirmed: 390,358
    Active: 348,599
    Recovered: ?
    Death: 41,759
  • Italy 296,569
    Confirmed: 296,569
    Active: 43,161
    Recovered: 217,716
    Death: 35,692
  • Nigeria 57,145
    Confirmed: 57,145
    Active: 7,619
    Recovered: 48,431
    Death: 1,095
  • Ghana 45,877
    Confirmed: 45,877
    Active: 499
    Recovered: 45,081
    Death: 297