Femi Adesina, presidential spokesman, says the invitation of Ibrahim Magu, suspended acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to appear before a presidential panel is in his best interest.
Speaking on Wednesday when he featured on Politics Today, a programme on Channels Television, Adesina said President Muhammadu Buhari deserves to be applauded over his action on Magu.
“If anything illegal has been done, there are ways to seek redress for it. But I think it’s in the best interest of everybody including Mr Magu for the panel to have invited him to hear his side of the story,” Adesina said.
“I can tell you on authority that before this became a public issue, the panel had been sitting for weeks and when the panel established some grounds for Mr Magu to be invited, the president then gave approval for him to be invited and he was invited and he came.
“What has happened this far is the right thing to do according to law, justice, fairness and all that is right.
“We don’t need to be worried about the anti-corruption war. In fact, what is happening now, would rather strengthen the anti-corruption war. Instead of some people trying to pick holes in the anti-corruption war, they should rather applaud the president for taking a decision that the person who is like the lynchpin of the anti-corruption war is being asked to answer questions. It just shows that anybody can be called to answer questions; nobody is above scrutiny.”
Speaking on Magu’s release, he said he also got the information on the development around the time it was in the news as he had been at the federal executive council (FEC) meeting which took place from 10am till 6:02pm.
“[In] an investigation of the magnitude that we have seen so far, it stands to reason that whoever is the chief executive of that institution will have to step aside. Nothing is concluded yet. He will just have to step aside in order to allow unfettered investigation,” he said.
“It’s an investigation, not a trial. If a trial would come later, it would come. But we are not at that stage. We are just at the fact-finding stage where he has been asked to defend himself. It’s not a trial.
“Mr Magu isn’t being tried — at least not yet — because what lawyers call a prima facie case has not been built against him. He’s rather going through investigation. So, it’s a plus for the anti-corruption war rather than something that would reduce the bite and impact of that war.”