The federal government has queried Ibrahim Magu, acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), and Festus Keyamo, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), over the corruption charges filed against Danladi Umar, chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
On behalf of the EFCC, Keymao filed a two-count corruption charge against Umar at a federal high court in Abuja, three weeks ago.
Umar was accused of demanding a bribe of N10 million from one Rasheed Taiwo, a former customs official who was facing false assets declaration charges before the CCT.
The anti-graft agency had cleared the CCT chairman of the same allegation in 2016.
The query dated February 16, 2018, was signed by Dayo Apata, solicitor-general of the federation.
Magu was asked to explain what informed the filing of corruption charges against the tribunal chairman having being cleared of corruption allegations on two occasions.
Like Magu, the senior Lawyer was given till February 20, 2018, to furnish the office of the AGF in writing the etail of who engaged or issued him with authority to file the corruption charges.
“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,” the letter read.
“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 against Justice Umar raised a mere suspicion and will therefore not be sufficient to successfully prosecute for the defence.
“Kindly accord this letter top priority while your prompt response within 48 hours from the receipt of same is required in the circumstances.”
In an interview with TheCable, Umar had wondered the choice of Keyamo in the fresh charges filed against him.
The lawyer was the one who represented Taiwo, who allegedly bribed the CCT chairman.
“Festus Keyamo is the legal representative of the man that the chairman allegedly collected money from. He is the one standing on his behalf before CCT chairman,” Ibraheem Al-Hassan, spokesman of the CCT chairman, had said.
“We begin to get confused though maybe because we are not learned people but we felt that morally how can you be defending case here and prosecuting the person the that you are defending case before him. We felt morally that is not right.
“It is left for the system to prove you right or wrong. The procedure and the power that play that exists between Keyamo defence in our court and filing case against the chairman is causing us a lot of concern.”