By Ameh Ejekwonyilo
The Federal Government through the Attorney-General (AGF) of the Federation and Minister of Justice , Abubakar Malami (SAN), has queried the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, over the fraud charges filed against the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Mr. Danladi Umar, by EFCC.
Malami also queried Mr. Festus Keyamo (SAN), who is the prosecution counsel in the pending suit.
In the query dated February 16, 2018 and with Reference No DPP/ADV:368/15, Magu was ordered to make his response available to the AGF on or before the end of today.
The Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr. Dayo Apata, who signed the query, asked the EFCC boss to explain what informed the filing of corruption charges against Umar, having cleared him twice of corruption allegations.
The query titled: a�?FRN VS Danladi Umar (CR/109/18) request for Briefing,a�? read in part: a�?The attention of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation was drawn to news report that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has filed charges of corruption against the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Hon. Justice Danladi Umar, before the FCT High Court.
a�?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.
a�?The Commissiona��s investigation report dated 5th, March 2015 addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation stated as follows: a�?The facts as they are now against Justice Umar raised a mere suspicion and will therefore not be sufficient to successfully prosecute for the defencea��.
a�?The Commissiona��s position in paragraph 2(a) above was also maintained and sustained by the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation while appearing before the House of Representativesa�� 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.
a�?In view of the foregoing, the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation requests for 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.
a�?Kindly accord this letter top priority, while your prompt response within 48 hours from the receipt of same is required in the circumstancesa�?.
Similarly, Keyamo, who was engaged as a private lawyer by Magu to handle the prosecution of the CCT chair, was requested by the AGF to confirm who authorised him to file the corruption charges against Umar.
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 Sectary read in part:
a�?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.
a�?The Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation hereby requests that you kindly furnish this office with the details of the instruction or authorization upon which you instituted the case under referencea�?.
While confirming the receipt of the query, Keyamo told The AUTHORITY that the correspondence was a private letter and that he had responded privately.
By Ameh Ejekwonyilo