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Magu Did Not Plead Guilty Before Salami Panel – Counsel

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COUNSEL to suspended acting chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Wahab Shittu has alleged misrepresentation of Mr. Ibrahim Magu’s closing remarks before the Justice Ayo Salami’s Commission of Inquiry.

Shittu said Magu did not at any time admit guilt before the probe panel, stating that the only thing going for Magu is his conviction of his innocence.

The commission is probing the activities of the EFCC under Magu.

In a statement in Abuja, Shittu said Magu only “pleaded for justice and fair-play by the panel members in the context of his overall achievements.”

The statement said: “Our attention has been drawn to a misleading story in a certain online medium with a misleading headline – “Magu confesses, begs: I Was Overzealous as Acting Chair of EFCC, Please Save My Career.”

“We wish to state that this story was twisted fundamentally out of context by my client’s accusers who want to hit back at my client without justification.

“It is true that Magu and my humble self-addressed the panel at the conclusion of his defence while Magu clarified that he threw himself to the job of acting chair because of his passion for the anti-corruption war, a situation that may be alleged as overzealousness in some quarters.

“He, however, pleaded for justice and fair-play by the panel members in the context of his overall achievements and his fledging career which hitherto remain unblemished and will terminate in two years’ time.

“Counsel to Magu also urged the panel members in the interest of fear of God and loyalty to their conscience to ensure justice in the matter and concluded by thanking them for patience and understanding throughout the proceedings.”

Shittu said his client did not plead guilty to all the allegations against him.

He added: “At no time did Magu admit to guilt to the allegations – the subject matter of the inquiry. Indeed, the only thing going for Magu is his conviction of his innocence.

“A member of the panel had cause to inquire from me whether I am convinced that the panel will do justice to my client. I responded in the affirmative and I hope my optimism of the justice of the process at the end will not be illusory.

“As Nigerians wait on the Justice Salami- led judicial commission of inquiry to do justice in this matter, we call on commentators in the public space to comment based on facts and law and particularly based on the justice of the case.

“The Judicial Commission Inquiry inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on 3rd July 2020 “……..For the Investigation of Mr. Magu Ibrahim, The Ag. Chairman Of The EFCC For Alleged Abuse Of Office And Mismanagement of Federal Government Recovered Assets and Finances From May 2015 To May 2020” has progressed appreciably with a lot of work and sacrifices by the members and all those connected to the inquiry.

“The main preoccupation of the inquiry is to unearth the truth and nothing but the truth with no grandstanding, sensationalism, dramatization or any attempt at coloration of the truth. This is the major concern of all Nigerians.

“On Friday, 25th of September, 2020, after days of sittings, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, the subject of the inquiry rendered all his defence in the proceedings and ever since that development, a lot of stories have been flying around in the public space.

“The danger is that these orchestrated stories in the public space may have the effect of shifting the real focus from the quest for facts and truth which is the real focus of the inquiry to sensationalism, half-truths, propaganda which will neither benefit either Nigerians who are interested in the real facts and truth nor the panel members who have toiled for days to execute the assignment including the subject of inquiry whose proclamation of guilt or innocence will define his future career and his perception in the public space.

“The above is the compelling need for these interventions as law officer in the temple of justice who witnessed most of the proceedings from the beginning and actually served as counsel to the subject of inquiry.

“In this intervention, I intend to be as fair and objective as possible owing my loyalty to the fear of God and my conscience.”

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FG, States, LGCs Share N1,208 billion April 2024 Revenue

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Again Fulani Terrorists Attack Omala LGA, Kill 3 in Ajokpachi

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Barely a few weeks after a deadly attack by Fulani herdsmen on the Agojeju-odo Community in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State,  another community has suffered the same fate.

The Dare Devil Fulani Bandits on Tuesday launched a deadly attack on the Ajokpachi Odo Community, a neighbouring Community killing no fewer than three persons, and carting away Motorbikes, foodstuff while scores of people still missing.
The attack was said to have occurred when the Youths in the area on surveillance mission were ambushed and killed  by the Fulani herdsmen terrorists.
According to the locals , the fulani militia who have been engaging in fierce battle with the Agatus in Benue state for over a week now were relocating when they met the   youths who were holding a meeting in Ajokpachi Odo and openedfire on them.,
Among the confirmed dead were Musa Sule from Ajokpachi Odo , one youth from Bagaji Odo and another one from Ajomachi, a border village in Benue state who were attending  the meeting on how to protect their communities.

Victims of the Fulani herdsmen attack on Agojeju-odo

Unconfirmed reports have it that the terrorists have also earmarked other communities in the local government for similar attacks. This has resulted in the desertion of Agbenema, Opada, Ajedegbo and surrounding communities whose inhabitants are moving in droves to Abejukolo the local government headquarters.
SunriseNigeria could not reach the Divisional Police Officer of the local government as his line could not be reached.
However a Community Leader , Nifu Abuka, who spent all night in the bush for fear of his life  as a result of the incident, said since  the heinous attack on  Agojeju Odo, his people have been sleeping with one eye closed.
He added that the porous security situation in the area has made them vulnerable to incessant Fulani attacks and called on relevant government agencies to come to their rescue.
He explained that the age long  feud between Agatu and Fulani in Benue and Nasarawa states have made his community, which share boundary with Agatu in Benue state -susceptible to attack.
In an interview with our correspondent, a prominent indigene of the local government, Dr James Odaudu reiterated the age-long calls by stakeholders for the establishment of a military base,  especially the Navy, in the area,  since the marauders usually cross the River Benue from the neighbouring Nasarawa State to attack the Agatus in Benue state and and communities in Omala LGA in Kogi State.
He called on the Federal and Benue  state Governments to urgently deploy permanent Security outfits to the communities to save them from unwarranted
deaths in the hands of the heavily armed Fulani herdsmen who have taken over their farms and the  deserted  villages.
According to him, the people are tired of the usual condolences by those whose responsibility it is to protect them and said if left unchecked, the bandits will overrun not only the local government, but the whole of Igala Kingdom.
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Submit Yourself to the Law, Tinubu Media Group Tells Yahaya Bello

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The Tinubu Media Support Group, TMSG, has urged the immediate past governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, to heed the advice of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, and submit himself to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the court of law.

According to the group, it has become necessary for Bello to clear himself of allegations of financial malfeasance while in office.

In a statement issued Sunday and jointly signed by its Chairman, Emeka Nwankpa and Secretary, Dapo Okubanjo, the group described the stand-off between the former governor and the EFCC as unnecessary, saying it is an affront on the sanctity of the law and the integrity of the President’s war against corruption.

The statement said: “We have carefully watched all the drama and subterfuge that continue to trail the invitation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to Governor Yahaya Bello, a senior member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the curious attempts to politicize the routine matter of the request by the graft fighting agency to ask former Governor Bello to meet with its investigators.

“For us, the intervention of the Attorney General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi, asking the former Kogi governor to subject himself to EFCC’s scrutiny is a clear signal in this regard, not only on the position of law, but also on the stance of the President Bola Tinubu administration on anti- corruption.

“It should be clear by now to all Nigerians that strict accountability in governance occupies a cardinal place in President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda. To serve this purpose, his government has shown zero tolerance to cases of corruption since assuming office.

According to the statement, the EFCC, by inviting the former governor Yahaya Bello, like it did with past and previous officials of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and others, is in tandem with its policy and character to nurture a culture of probity and accountability in governance.

The group added that as a staunch member of the APC, Bello has no reason to fear.

“We urge him to heed the advice of the Attorney General and make himself available to EFCC’s investigators as required by extant laws.

“We also advise members of the ruling party who have been up in arms against the anti- graft agency to be circumspect in their reaction to the issue,” the group added.

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