Magu Battle For Bail As EFCC Chief Face Panel

Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) , Ibrahim Magu, who is under investigation by a presidential panel, has requested bail from custody.

He has spent the fourth day at the Force Criminal investigation Department (FCID).

Magu has been detained at the FCID since Monday when he first appeared before the panel.

The presidential panel is probing Magu for allegations of misconduct levelled against him by Minister of Justice and Attorney-General Abubakar Malami.

Also on Thursday, 16 top officials of EFCC and the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), appeared before the Justice Ayo Salami-led panel sitting in Abuja.

Among those grilled are: Secretary to the EFCC Mr. Ola Oloyede, Director of Operations Mr. Mohammed Umar and a former Director of Organisational support – now a Commissioner of Police – Bolaji Salami.

A source said: “The committee gave the EFCC chiefs one week deadline to submit the list of cases investigated and prosecuted since 2015.

“I think the committee is interested in the status of each case. The sectional heads promised to meet up with the timeline.”

Investigation showed that lawyers defending Magu made an oral submission for his bail.

They pleaded with the committee to prevail on Inspector-General of Police to release Magu on bail because it is his fundamental right.

A source said: “At the sitting of the panel, Magu’s counsel applied for bail. Since the panel did not order his detention, it advised the lawyers to address their request to Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu.

“Although a member said the Chairman of the panel could act on the panel, however, said it is the IG’s responsibility.

The lawyer argued that “apart from being on the grounds of fundamental human rights, the application for bail was borne out of Magu being a senior police officer.

“Ordinarily, Magu ought to be detained at the Police Officers Mess pending the conclusion of investigation not behind the counters as the case is at the moment.

“On his first day in FCID custody, he slept on a chair throughout the night. He opted to stay in a cell but he was asked to sleep in an office. For safety reasons, he chose to sleep on a chair.”

“Magu is appearing before a fact-finding panel, there is no justification for detaining him,” his counsel said.

A member of the committee said Magu was being “detained based on directive.”

Following the counsel’s submission, members of the committee, according to sources, asked Magu and his counsel to leave the hearing room for some minutes.

But no decision was taken on the bail request.

Magu also denied giving N4billion to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Sources quoted Magu as saying: “I did not tell the panel that I gave the Vice President N4 billion. Where will I get such money? Do I have access to such funds? It is part of mudslinging. Please clear this. I do not have any control of such cash, I did not order the transfer of N4 billion to the VP or to anybody.

“The name of the Vice President never came up at the panel’s session at all. Since the VP was not an issue, I could not have mentioned that I gave him N4 billion.”

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