MAGU: Malami, Salami at loggerheads as justice minister disobeys presidential panel on certain ground

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After the  retired Justice  Ayo Salami presidential panel subpoenaed Justice Minister/AGF Abubakar Malami to appear before it in connection with the months-long investigation of the EFCC under its suspended chairman Ibrahim Magu, Malami has refused to show up.

His decision indicates the panel might have split with the AGF who was earlier believed to be micro-managing the head of the panel and the investigation.

It also reveals Malami’s word is not his bond, and the AGF integrity in the probe has a question mark.

The AGF, whose petition against Magu instigated President Muhammadu Buhari to set up the panel, promised earlier on to cooperate with the panel since Magu, relying on Section 36 of the Nigerian Constitution, wrote to the panel to invite AGF who petitioned.

Malami’s earlier promise equally became necessary as many CSOs also petitioned Buhari on the corruption of his AGF.

“So, if Ayo Salami panel invites Abubakar Malami (SAN) as a person or the Attorney-General of the Federation for any testimony or any clarification, for any examination or cross-examination for that matter, Abubakar Malami will definitely and gladly within the spirit and context of rule of law be there to testify and will submit myself to be cross-examined,’ Malami said earlier.

Following that, the panel then officially invited him to substantiate his 22 allegations of corruption and abuse of office he levelled against Magu.

“You are hereby commanded in the name of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to appear before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry to give evidence in respect of your allegations against Mr Ibrahim Magu,” read part of the subpoena as quoted by SaharaReporters.

But Malami flatly spurned the panel’s order.

He wrote in a letter stating that he would not appear as a witness because he only made charges against Magu based on the petitions he received against him in his office.

However, on the basis of those petitions which he now distances himself from, the panel has taken a number of actions, including arresting and detaining Magu for 10 days, suspending him thereafter, and easing out many of the directors that worked with him in the commission, one of such under the ministry of justice.

Malami had been the one announcing and effecting the panel’s decisions all along, until now that he has reason to despise the panel.