Sagay distances self from statement defending Magu

The Chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), has distanced himself from a statement defending the embattled acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.

Sagay, who is known to be an ardent supporter of Magu, said this while reacting to a statement by a member of his committee, Prof. Femi Odekunle.

In a statement by PACAC Communications Officer, Aghogho Agbahor, Sagay said Odekunle spoke for himself.

“The attention of the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption has been drawn to a statement circulating in the media space credited to one of its members Prof Femi Odekunle.

“The press release is the personal opinion of the member under whose name it was released and not that of the committee. If the committee consistent with its mandate has any view on the matter, it will be channelled to the President and not to the media.”

In a statement issued by Odekunle on Monday, PACAC purportedly accused the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), of being behind Magu’s travails.

Odekunle, who claimed to have issued the statement on behalf of Sagay and other members of the committee, called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), not to allow himself to be deceived by Malami and the powerful cabal behind Magu’s probe.

Odekunle cited the failure of the National Assembly to confirm the appointment of the EFCC boss based on a purported security report by the secret service as one plot by the power bloc.

Stressing further, the professor cited a few cases which includes the formal notice of abandonment in the corruption case involving former Minister of Niger Delta, Godwill Orubebe and a purported secret meeting with Abdulrasheed Maina in Dubai.

His statement read in part, “The position of PACAC is that while Magu, or any official of whatever status, must be nailed if found to be corrupt, the President must be careful not to shoot its anti-corruption fight /modest achievements in the foot, and not to forget that EFCC under Magu has been the administration’s anti-corruption poster-face.

“It may not be contestable that Malami has been exploiting his alleged loyalty and closeness to the President for his personal /power bloc agenda. For, to the best of PACAC’s knowledge and observations, Malami has not manifested any genuine commitment to the anti-corruption fight.”

Magu, who has been acting as Chairman of the EFCC for nearly five years, is facing 24 allegations of corruption before a Presidential panel led by a former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami (retd.).

He spent the night in police custody.

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