The presidency on Tuesday said the ongoing probe of the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, by a panel investigating the disposal of recovered assets is an indication that nobody is above scrutiny under the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
A presidency source, who preferred anonymity, said the investigation is to reinforce transparency and accountability and to give him the opportunity to clear himself of weighty allegations.
The source, who said the holder of an elevated office such as the chairman of the EFCC must be above suspicion, gave an assurance that the administration can be counted on to uphold fairness and justice at all times.
The source said: “The panel investigating allegations against Ag. EFCC Chairman had been sitting for some weeks now.
“In consonance with the principle of fairness and justice, it was needful that the Ag. Chairman be given the opportunity to respond to the allegations, which are weighty in nature.
“Under the Muhammadu Buhari administration, nobody is above scrutiny, I repeat, no nobody.
“The investigation is to reinforce transparency and accountability, rather than to vitiate it.
“Accountability for our actions or inactions is inalienable part of democracy.
“In such an elevated position as that of EFCC Chairman, the holder of the position must be above suspicion.
“There’s no prejudgment. Absolutely none. The Buhari’s administration can be counted on to uphold fairness
and justice at all times.”
The two presidential spokesmen, however, declined comment on the matter especially on the purported suspension of Magu.
Meanwhile, the panel investigating allegations against the acting EFCC chairman continued its sitting inside the State House Conference Centre, Abuja on Tuesday.
Members of the panel being led by Justice Ayo Salami were noticed at the venue of the interrogation by noon while a convoy of three cars, which appeared to be carrying an important guest drove into the premises at 12.37pm.
Daily Trust could not ascertain whether Magu was the principal official in the convoy as a Peugeot sedan sandwiched by two Toyota Hilux vans occupied by many security personnel provided cover for the car.
The convoy was waved on to join the panel after a brief screening by personnel of the Department of State Security (DSS) at the gate.
Just as on Monday, access was again denied to authorized persons by security details at the centre.
Magu is facing allegations of corruption levelled against him by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
On Monday, the Presidency explained that the acting Chairman EFCC, Magu, was not arrested but rather invited him so that he can respond to issues as they arise.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba, in a text message in response to Daily Trust enquiries, said Magu’s attention was “immediately” needed as the presidential panel investigating the disposal of recovered assets began its sitting.
Garba, while reacting to a text message that sought to know the feeling of the Presidency to the DSS decision to invite acting EFCC Chairman, regarding the fight against corruption, said: “There is a Presidential Panel that has begun sitting, investigating the disposal of recovered assets and the EFCC Chairman is responding to their questions.
“I will not call it arrest per se, as many have suggested, but they need him to be immediately available to them so that he can respond to issues as they arise.”