By Lilian Ogbonna (AGENDAWATCHDOG) – Consequent to ongoing investigations of allegations of gross misconduct leveled against the acting Chairman of Nigeria’ apex anti-corruption body, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), by a Presidential Panel, accountability watchdog, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has urged the investigative panel to be just in the conduct of the exercise.
SERAP’s call, which was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, is coming in the heels of reports that Magu’s ordeal was as result of power-play at the highest echelons of government.
According to SERAP, if reports making the rounds that the ongoing probe of Magu was politically motivated with the sole purpose of compromising the neutrality and objectivity of the EFCC in the concuct of its affairs, Buhari’s government would have contradicted its much trumpeted anti-graft stand and emboldened the corrupt element in the country.
SERAP called on the authorities to allow Magu the free expression of his constitutionally and internationally granted and guaranteed rights to fair trial, adding that “he should either be charged with a recognizable criminal offence or released immediately and allowed to do his job without fear of reprisals”.
Ibrahim Magu, who is being quizzed by a presidential panel set up to investigate allegations of official misconduct against him by some petitioners, appeared before the Ayo Salami-led panel on Monday, following which he was taken into police custody.