Suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, who has been facing a closed door trial by the Justice Ayo Salami- led Presidential Panel since July, has concluded his defence, The Whistler is reporting.
Sources close to the panel told this website that it had also begun verification of all assets seized or surrendered to the EFCC at home and abroad, including those linked to Magu, after which it is expected to write its report and submit to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The verifications include investigation of all claims made against Magu and the ones made by him concerning ownership or otherwise of certain assets.
“Members of the panel have started verification of all assets and claims at issue in the trial. They have started visiting all locations of the assets in Nigeria and London with a view to ascertaining the status of those assets and it is after this that they will prepare their report to Mr President,” the source revealed.
Magu is being investigated over allegations of financial misconduct and insubordination leveled against him by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
He was arrested on July 6; three days after President Buhari had in a letter dated July 3 approved the establishment of a Judicial Commission of Enquiry under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act (Cap T21, LFN, 2004).
This followed damning allegations of corruption leveled against him by AGF Malami, whose ministry oversees the EFCC.
President Buhari had also directed the panel to submit its interim reports to him not later than 45 days starting “from its first public sitting.”
It is unclear when exactly the panel began sitting, since it was not opened to the public, but it is believed to be around the time Magu was arrested and detained at the Area 10 Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) of the police in Abuja.
Sources close to the panel said it was initially expected to submit its interim report on August 16, but had to seek extension when Magu’s lawyers cried against persecution of the suspended anti-graft boss.
His Lawyer, Wahab Shittu, had in a letter to the panel in August demanded fair hearing and copies of relevant exhibits from proceedings of the panel.
Shittu also asked the panel to provide his client with adequate time and facility as he prepares to defend himself, as well as access to all exhibits tendered in the proceeding, a request that was reportedly granted.
For over one month, Magu appeared before the panel to defend himself over allegations bordering on his management of assets seized as proceeds of crime.
Sources tell this website that Magu had now concluded his defence while the panel had embarked on visits to locations where the assets are.
It is not clear how long it would take the panel to conduct verification and write its report, considering how wide-ranging it terms of reference are said to be.
But it is expected that the panel may conclude its assignment and submit its report soon.
President Buhari would decide Magu’s fate after receiving and studying recommendations from the panel.