Justice Ayo Salami (rtd), the chairman of the secret presidential panel investigating the suspended chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, got a mouthful from one of the suspects during a hearing on Monday.
According to a source quoted by Sahara Reporters, after asking a series of questions not related to the N587m-Dubai house Pastor Emmanuel Omale allegedly bought for Magu, Salami wanted to know if Omale could bring his wife for questioning, too.
It was as though the retired justice burst a pressure point. Omale, the founder of the Hand of God Ministry, just exploded. And he lashed out at the retired president of the Appeal Court for 20 minutes.
He described Salami as ‘a disappointment to every discerning Nigerian who reposed confidence in him and his ability to do justice’.
The pastor also accused the panel of misleading the public, and of serving as a tool in the assassination of characters of innocent citizens.
As a tool, Salami, many observers believe, might be working for AGF Abubakar Malami. He initiated the probe of Magu on the allegations of insubordination and corruption—same allegations in which Malami himself swims now.
Many, including CSOs, Magu’s lawyers, Buhari’s advisers like Itse Sagay, and others have said similar things about Salami and his panel, owing to the secrecy, the partiality, and the hidden agenda they perceived in the way the investigation has been going.
Magu himself has said he has yet to know why they are investigating him.
Which played out in the Omale interrogation, too.
According to the report, the pastor and his lawyer were surprised that Salami and his panel never mentioned the Dubai house and the millions Magu allegedly paid into his account.
“The panel and the chairman rather questioned him on his latest trip to Dubai where he met with Magu at the hospital,” te source said.
“The pastor provided evidence of his personal payment for his hotel stay during the period.
“When asked if he stayed in the same hotel with Magu, the pastor confirmed Magu stayed in the hospital with his wife when he visited and had no knowledge of any hotel stay.”
To expose his lack of focus, Salami reportedly queried Omale’s church’s source of funding.
“The pastor then expressed his disgust at the line of questioning. He informed the panel that the church sources funds like every other churches and mosques,” the source said.
After all the crackers, Omale left in annoyance, threatening to all possible legal action to redeem his image against the panel.
The Salami panel has been given judicial powers to carry out its duty, by widening the probe and covering other areas.
But Malami is spared in all this.