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SERAP demands fair trial for EFCC detained chairman

By Idowu Abdullahi

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the Federal Government to ensure the ongoing probe of the embattled acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu over allegations of corruption followed due process. 

Magu had yesterday appeared before Department of State Services (DSS) alongside a panel set up by the Federal Government to investigate allegations of corruption said to have been levelled against the anti-corruption boss.

It was gathered that the anti-graft agency boss spent last night in a police cell after he was grilled for about six hours by the Justice Isa Salami-led Presidential panel, and that his trial is billed to continue today.

However, reacting the Magu’s detainment on Tuesday, SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare called on the presidential panel to afford Magu his constitutionally and internationally guaranteed fair trial rights in the ongoing probe over alleged infractions on duty.

Through a statement released on Tuesday, Oluwadare decried what he described as Magu’s ‘arbitrary arrest’ and insisted that Magu be charged with a recognizable criminal offense and that in absence of that he should be released immediately and allowed to continue with his job.

“SERAP urges the authorities to afford Magu his constitutionally and internationally guaranteed fair trial rights. Magu must either be charged with a recognizable criminal offense or released immediately and allowed to do his job without fear of reprisals.

“Nigerian authorities cannot continue to keep Magu in detention under suspicious circumstances without bringing any legitimate charges against him in violation of national and international law.”

“Nigerian authorities must support the independence and freedom of action of anti-corruption agencies and institutions if they are to be able to genuinely fight grand corruption, which has for many years turned public service for many into a kind of criminal enterprise,” the statement read.

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