The acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has been queried over the corruption charges filed against the chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Mr Danladi Umar.
The federal government also wrote a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Festus Keyamo, to explain who gave him the authorisation to file the charges.
In the query dated February 16, 2018 and with reference No DPP/ADV:368/15, Magu was ordered to make his response to the query available to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Minister of Justice on or before Tuesday, February 20, 2018.
In the query, signed by Mr Dayo Apata, the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Magu is to explain what informed the filing of corruption charges against the tribunal chairman after he had been cleared of corruption allegations two times by the same EFCC.
The query entitled, “FRN VS Danladi Umar (CR/109/18) request for Briefing,” reads in part: “The attention of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation was drawn to news report that the EFCC 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 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 raised against Justice Umar are 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 AGF 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 AGF requests 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 while your prompt response within 48 hours from the receipt of same is required in the circumstances.”
In the same vein, in a separate letter to Mr. Festus Keyamo SAN, who was purportedly engaged as a private lawyer by Magu to prosecute the CCT boss was also requested by the AGF to confirm who authorised him to file the corruption charges against Umar.
Like Magu, the senior lawyer was given till Tuesday February 20, 2018 to furnish the Office of the AGF in writing details of who engaged or issued him with authority to file the corruption charges.
The letter to Keyamo with reference No DPP/ADV:369/15 dated February 16, 2018, which was also signed by the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary reads in part:
“The attention of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation was drawn to news report that you have filed charges of corruption against the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Hon. Justice Danladi Umar, before the FCT High Court.
“The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation hereby requests that you kindly furnish this office with the details of the instruction or authorisation 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.”
LEADERSHIP recalls that the EFCC in two separate letters to the federal government through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation had in 2015 and 2016 cleared Umar of any wrongdoing in the alleged N10 million bribery allegation made against him by a defendant, RasheedTaiwoOwolabi standing trial before him on false asset declaration.