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More trouble for Magu: Ozekhome meets Salami panel, submits evidence

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There seems to be more trouble coming for Ibrahim Magu, as prominent lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) appeared before Presidential Panel for the continuation of the investigation of corruption allegations against the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Ozekhome, who met with the Justice Ayo Salami-led panel on Tuesday, further strengthed the corruption allegations against Magu by submitting six exhibits, including two video clips and some documents.

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During the session, which lasted about two hours, the senior advocate accused Magu of being unprofessional with the handling of his office.

Ozekhome also pointed at the investigative deficiencies of the anti-graft agency under Magu. According to him, it was more of a ‘media trial.’

However, a lawyer to Magu, Mr. Tosin Ojaomo, described the senior advocate’s visit to the panel as unfortunate.

The lawyer said it’s clear the Justice Salami-led panel was on a “fishing expedition”.

Ojaoma said Ezekhome is well known as a staunch critic of the leadership of the EFCC and Magu and was only invited to nail the suspended boss at all costs.

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Ojaoma noted that he was aware of the senior advocate’s visit to the panel but questioned why Magu has not been given the same opportunity to invite people and to defend himself.

He said, “We are aware of the visit of Chief Ozekhome. His grouse is the freezing of his account in 2017, which was later unfrozen. Unfortunately, it only goes on to show that the panel is on a fishing expedition because the panel is also inviting people, who have a score to settle with Magu.

“This is not how panels are supposed to act. We all remember how the Justice Oputa panel conducted itself professionally many years ago. People, who were invited, were given petitions ahead of time so that they could defend themselves. Till date, Magu has not received any petition. Is this fair?”

Meanwhile, Ozekhome quickly fired back at Tosin Ojaomo and clarified why he visited the panel.

He noted that he was invited to make certain recommendations, which he did.

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He noted that contrary to the opinion of Ojaoma, his primary aim was not to settle scores with Magu but to address the deficiencies in the EFCC with a view to helping it to actualize its core mandate.

The senior advocate confirmed that he submitted six exhibits to the panel, including two videos as well as a letter he wrote to the then acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on the urgent need for reforms and accountability as regards recovered loot.

He, however, urged Magu and his camp to be calm and be ready for more of his moves against them.

Ozekhome stated, “I have not even said anything about the seizure of my funds by the EFCC and I am surprised that Ojaomo, a lawyer, can talk about something he didn’t witness. My N75m was seized by Magu and his goons despite the fact that it was my legal fees. I went to court and defeated them; so, I have nothing to prove.

“All I did at the panel was to tender some documents and some CDs, which contained videos. One of them is a video where I was given a standing ovation at an event where I advised Magu on how to fight corruption. It was about telling them not to do a one-sided anti-graft war, where you arrest activists and leave those in government.

“I also tendered a letter dated May 2017, which I wrote to the then acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo. In the letter, I raised 12 questions as to where the recovered loot and property were and if the property had been sold, to who and for how much. Tell Ojaomo to relax and that I have not yet started.”

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