- How Salami panel established grounds for his removal
- Buhari yet to get report, likely this week
New facts emerging from the Justice Ayo Salami panel, which investigated the suspended chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, have contemplated the possibility of further investigations, which might lead to a criminal prosecution of the suspended EFCC boss.
Some of the new facts have also revealed how the Salami panel might have established enough evidentiary grounds for Magu’s eventual removal in their report, investigation of which started mid July with several witnesses, who assisted in the investigation.
The panel, it was also gathered, recommended that the former secretary of the EFCC, Olanipekun Olukoyede be relieved of his duty, even though he too had since July 15 been suspended by the president in connection with the panel’s discoveries of infractions relating to abuse of trust.
Although sources within the panel confirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari was yet to receive the panel’s report as at the time of filing this report, there are however indications that the report might get to the president later this week.
“The President has not received that report, but it is true some recommendations have been made. One, the predication for his removal has been established. Two, arriving from the facts that have emerged and made available to the panel, further investigation is required, that may lead to criminal prosecution of Magu,” the source said, noting that, “President may likely get the report this week.”
Both the social and traditional media were in the week awash with reports that the Salami panel had recommended among other measures, that Magu be sacked, a development other reports claimed had also elicited the reaction of the embattled EFCC boss.
THISDAY later gathered exclusively that though the panel did not expressly recommend his sack, it has however established the grounds for his removal, ultimately, with the damning contents of the panel’s report.
Another source close to the panel however hinted as one of the high points of the report, the part asking that Magu be sent to the police for disciplinary action commensurate with the infractions recorded against his name, more so as a police officer.
In the same vein, the panel, THISDAY learnt had asked that Olukoyede be sacked outright, a development also said to have followed the plethora of infractions, which the investigations discovered he committed.
The section of the report, which specifically addresses this recommendation states thus: “Magu should be recalled to the police and disciplined based on the infractions he committed. That the secretary to the commission should be relieved of his post.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had set up the Ayo Salami panel to investigate various allegations of wrongdoing, including insubordination, failure to properly account for recovered assets, abuse of office, and other corrupt acts levelled against Magu by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mallam Abubakar Malami, SAN.
The panel’s investigation of Magu held within the precincts of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the seat of power.
However, preceding the panel’s sitting was Magu’s arrest, which held on July 6 and was immediately whisked to the presidential villa in Abuja, where he appeared before the panel to probe the operations of the EFCC under him.
Consequently, on July 14, Malami sent a letter to Mohammed Umar, acting EFCC chairman, notifying him of the suspension of 12 directors at the commission, including Olukoyede.
Magu was detained for 10 days before he was released, after which he was availed the opportunity to respond to the damning evidence against him before the investigative panel.