By Danjuma Aliyu
Ibrahim Mustafa Magu’s decision to bring charges of corruption against the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Yakubu Umar, having cleared him in 2016, has been subjected to scrutiny by the Federal Government.
Mr Magu, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and Festus Keyamo, accuse the tribunal judge of demanding a bribe of 10 million Naira from Rasheed Owolabi Taiwo. The alleged crime occurred in 2012.
It is worth noting that Mr Taiwo, a former customs officer, who was facing trial at the CCT was defended by Mr Keyamo.
But back in 2016, Mr Magu directed a top management staff of the anti-graft agency to write a letter referenced (EFCC/P/HRU/688/V.30/99) to the Office of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF which exonerated the tribunal judge of the allegations.
In the letter dated April 20, 2016, the EFCC stated that the allegations against the Judge were “mere suspicions.”
The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN agreed with the decision of Mr Magu.
Sources in the anti-graft commission said eyebrows were raised when Mr Magu and Mr Keyamo brought the same charge of corruption against Justice Danladi, days before the Senate President; Bukola Saraki was to reappear before him.
Last year, Senator Saraki appeared before Justice Danladi over charges of false assets declaration. All 18 charges were dismissed against the Senate President.
Justice Danladi in his ruling said the prosecution “failed to link the defendant with the commission of the offences as charged.”
However, just before Justice Danladi delivered his ruling, he himself was absolved of corruption allegations.
DENISAURUS News understands that the EFCC had cleared the Judge in 2015 as well.
A report from Mr Magu’s predecessor – EFCC/EC/SGF/03/56 and dated March 5, 2015, absolved Justice Danladi of the alleged crime.
Mr Magu, having conducted a fresh investigation in 2016, also cleared the judge of any wrong doing.
Insiders at the EFCC believe Justice Danladi was cleared by Mr Magu’s EFCC so he could nail Senator Saraki.
Unfortunately, Justice Danladi upheld the no-case submission filed by Senator Saraki’s defence team.
Staff say that the cock-up shows their boss as a “blackmailing officer.”
The employee, who has spoken to reporters from DENISAURUS New for over a year, argued that Mr Magu had failed to nail the Senate President and had conjured this charge in order to do so.
According to the senior operative, Mr Magu, has no “investigative acumen” and he is one that “lacks any prosecutorial skills.”
An indicting report by the secret police describes the Borno born as a “perennial offender.” The report and a failed performance at his screening prevented Mr Magu from being confirmed as the fourth chairman of the EFCC.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police has now been asked by Dayo Apata, the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the of the Federal Ministry of Justice, to give a report stating the reasons for filing similar charges against Justice Danladi, which he had previously been absolved from.
A query letter from Mr Apata reads: “The attention of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation was drawn to news report that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has filed charges of corruption against the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Hon. Justice Danladi Umar, before the FCT High Court.
“I am directed by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation to seek clarification from you as to whether the charges were filed on your instruction or directive and if in the affirmative, what is the compelling basis for doing so. This clarification becomes imperative in view of the following background facts,” The query letter dated February 16, 2018 and with Reference No DPP/ADV: 368/15 further states.
“The Commission’s investigation report dated 5th March 2015 addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation stated as follows: “The facts as they are now against Justice Umar raised a mere suspicion and will therefore not be sufficient to successfully prosecute for the defence.
“The Commission’s position in paragraph 2(a) above was also maintained and sustained by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation while appearing before the House of Representatives’ Investigative Committee sometimes in 2015 to the effect that report of investigations showed that the allegations against Hon. Justice Danladi Umar were based on mere suspicions.
“In view of the foregoing, the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation requests for your prompt briefing as to the existence of new facts which are contrary to the position in your attached investigation report, sufficient evidence or other developments upon which the prosecution of Hon. Justice Danladi can be successfully based.
“Kindly accord this letter top priority whiles your prompt response within 48 hours from the receipt of same is required in the circumstances.”
Similarly, Mr Keyamo has been asked to explain his role in the suit filed.
In a letter with reference No DPP/ADV: 369/15, dated February 16, 2018, Abubakar Malami, SAN, demanded that Mr Keyamo “furnish this office with the details of the instruction or authorization upon which you instituted the case under reference.
“Kindly accord this letter top priority while your prompt response on or before Tuesday, February 20, 2018 is solicited in this regard.”
Mr Magu and Mr Keyamo have to respond to the AGF within 48 hours.
This is not the first time Mr Magu has made a disaster of a government case.
The 53-year-old law enforcement agent filled “unrealistic” charges against those involved in the Malabu case.
The Attorney General, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria is determined to clear the mess.
Mr Magu has also caused other problems for the commission. In 2017, Nigeria’s Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU was suspended from a world regulatory financial body because of the “corrupt” officer was divulging confidential information to media allies.
Till date, Nigeria remains suspended and cannot participate in any of Egmont activities.
DENISAURUS News understands that despite all the warning given, Mr Magu is yet to learn any lessons and continues to go contrary to the AGF’s advice.
Categories: Current Affairs