THE Presidential Investigation Committee on the activities of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday rejected the request for video recording of the panel’s proceedings made by the suspended Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu.
The chairman of the panel, Justice Ayo Salami, however, pledged fair hearing to all parties appearing before it.
He also made it clear that no one is on trial before the committee, which is on a fact-finding mission.
According to sources, Magu, who appeared at the committee’s sitting yesterday, demanded the video recordings of the proceedings of the panel in the past few weeks.
He alleged that some sessions involving him and a few others were video-taped at a stage and sought for copies.
One of the sources said:”The panel has not been comfortable with some representations on its activities and following Magu’s demand, it decided to make some clarifications for the benefit of the public.:
“In his usual characteristic of being soft spoken and sincere, His Lordship Hon Justice Isa Ayo Salami said he and the other members of the committee are not conducting trial or enquiry on Mr. Ibrahim Magu or the EFCC
“He insisted that this is not a panel but a committee saddled only with investigation. The committee undertakes to guarantee fair hearing to Magu and all those appearing before it in its fact-finding exercise.
Another source said the panel cannot make video recordings of its proceedings available to Magu.
The source added: “That the request of Mr. Magu for the video recordings of the proceedings cannot be granted because the previous recordings of the proceedings at the beginning were unauthorised by the investigation committee.
“The committee said it does not know the purpose such recordings would serve.
“Justice Salami also said the venue of the sitting of the committee is temporarily making it impossible to install video recording equipment as requested by Magu. “Even the superior courts of records do not have video recording facilities and lack of such facilities does not infringe on fair hearing.”
Magu had been appearing before the presidential panel investigating allegations of corruption and insubordination leveled against him by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Abubakar Malami (SAN).
Magu has maintained his innocence.
He said: “I am always transparent in the exercise of my official duties and there is no official decision that I have taken as the Acting Chairman of the Commission which was not a product of transparent process and in compliance with the statutory provisions.”
The findings of Salami panel will determine the fate of Magu and some top officers of the anti-graft agency.
Credit: The Nation