Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
The suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, again on Tuesday appeared before the Justice Ayo Salami-led presidential panel investigating corruption allegations levelled against him.
The sitting took place behind closed doors at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Journalists accredited to cover activities at the Presidential Villa were asked to keep off the venue since Magu started appearing before the panel last week Monday.
Our correspondent learnt that some unit heads in the commission appeared before the panel alongside Magu on Tuesday.
“The panel grilled four EFCC units heads today (Tuesday),” a source told our correspondent.
The unit heads, who are directors and sectional heads in the EFCC, it was learnt, had earlier appeared before the panel last week.
They were said to have sought the leave of the panel to come back with documents that they felt could assist them in answering some of the questions they were asked.
The source said, “Based on their request, they were allowed to go last week after making commitments to return this week.
“Today (Tuesday), they returned as promised. They joined Magu, who is facing 21 corruption allegations brought against him by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.”
Magu has been in police custody since last week Monday when he was arrested.
He is currently being held at the Force Criminal Investigation Bureau, Area 10, Abuja.
The embattled Magu is brought to the venue of the panel’s sitting and returned to police custody daily.
Meanwhile, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, on Tuesday said the opposition Peoples Democratic Party bequeathed unresolved cases of corruption to the present regime.
He said the PDP left a huge number of cases it did not investigate and prosecute while in power.
According to a statement by the Presidency, Shehu spoke in an interview with State House correspondents while reacting to issues raised by the party since the beginning of Magu’s interrogation.
The statement was titled: ‘President Buhari, Africa’s anti-corruption champion, won’t fail Nigerians’.
Shehu said the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), who doubles as the African Union’s Anti-Corruption Champion, assured Nigerians that he would not be deterred by baseless criticisms by the opposition in his determination to eradicate rampant and chronic corruption.
The President’s aide said the volume and reach of the anti-corruption crusade so far reflected what the PDP left behind.
He said corruption became so normalised by the PDP that the party had difficulty reconciling the difference between corruption and theft.
Shehu added that Buhari’s determination to end corruption in the country was responsible for the number of highly publicised charges and cases.
“The large number of cases; new and old, may appear to be daunting, but the PDP, which is now heckling the President, has forgotten that the party bequeathed this to the current administration. They had large number of cases they did not investigate and prosecute,” he said.