The Justice Ayo Salami-led Presidential Panel on the probe of the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu has described as false and mischievous some media reports that the panel chairman regretted and detested his appointment.
In a statement entitled, “Magu’s probe panel: I never regret my appointment’’ dated September 29, 2020 and signed by the chairman, retired Justice Salami, he said the need to put the records straight informed his reaction to the outright falsehood being disseminated in some sections of the media.
Persecondnews had reported that the commission was set up to probe alleged abuse of office and mismanagement of Federal Government recovered assets and finances from May 2015 to May 2020 under Magu as the EFCC boss.
He stated: “Ordinarily, I would not have dignified the purveyors of this falsehood with any form of rebuttal, but the need to put the record straight and expose their barefaced lies has necessitated my response.
“No claim can be further from the truth than the outright falsehood contained in this report. The reports were a figment of the wild imagination of the reporter, the two lawyers quoted as his sources and the medium that published the story.
“There was no time anything near the unthinkable scenario painted in the false story occurred in any meeting between myself and the lawyers to Magu or any other person, for that matter, since the Judicial Commission of Inquiry began its sittings.
“I have no cause to express any regret over my chairmanship of the Commission, not to talk of betraying any form of emotion before anyone about it. I see my appointment to serve as the chairman of the commission of Inquiry as an honour and call to service, thus my decision to accept diligently and patriotically discharge this responsibility.’’
On the statements credited to Magu’s lawyers, Salami said:“I have never appointed any of the two lawyers or any other person(s) to speak on my behalf as I can express myself without recourse to the lawyers of the persons we are probing.
“As an eminent jurist, who retired as the President of the Court of Appeal, I have handled much more complex cases than the current one before the commission.
“There is no doubt that the false reports were aimed at causing mischief and tarnishing my hard-earned reputation and integrity. I remain resolute and committed to the service of the nation and ready to champion the ideals of justice and fairness.
“I want to point out that such wild claims against me and the commission are not strange to me, given the manner in which the lawyers to Magu have been carrying on in the conduct of their client’s case before the commission.
“Planting such lies in the media about proceedings at the panel has been their pastime. They believe that it is by engaging in such media propaganda against the commission that their client can be easily absolved of the various allegations that have been brought against him.
On his resolve, the former President of the Court of Appeal, Abuja, also said:“I want to state here that these type of lies and blackmail will not deter me and other members of the commission from discharging our duty conscientiously.
“I urge Nigerians to disregard the falsehood contained in the viral reports. No amount of propaganda can dampen my spirit and that of the members of the commission.
Salami assured Nigerians that the commission would continue to execute its assignment without let or hindrance.
“I also want to assure Nigerians that the Judicial Commission of Inquiry which I chair, will continue with its thorough investigation of the allegations against the suspended acting chairman with a view to unearthing the truth and ensuring justice is manifestly done.
To the press, Salami said:“The Nigerian Press is hereby implored to respect and uphold the sanctity of the tenets of ethical journalism practice of verification of information, balancing reports and contacting appropriate sources before publishing their reports in the spirit of patriotism and national interest.’’