Both the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) and the acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu have denied reports that there was rift between them.
The duo who were reportedly fighting over the prosecution of high profile corruption cases, separately made the denial, yesterday.
Malami’s denial came against the backdrop of insinuations and controversy that had trailed his letter to the EFCC boss accusing him of breaching section 10(1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Enforcement) Regulations 2010.
The letter dated August 1, 2017, specifically asked Magu to comply with the said regulations of serious or complex cases.
However, while reacting to the issue at a press briefing in Abuja, the AGF denied any rift between him and Magu.
When asked to comment on the matter, Malami simply retorted: “There is no rift between us.”
However, newsmen observed that the EFCC acting chairman was absent at the press briefing which was on the forthcoming national summit on Justice scheduled for August 8 to 10, 2017 in Abuja.
It was not, however, clear whether Magu was invited to the event that was attended by heads of parastatals and agencies under the Federal Ministry of Justice.
Meanwhile, spokesman of EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren lampooned unscrupulous persons who have continued to push the “false narrative” into media headlines.
In the statement, he stated that the attention of the EFCC had been drawn to the near-daily reportage of either the existence of a face-off or an impending and damaging conflict between the Commission and the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
“For the avoidance of any doubt, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, wishes to categorically state that it is compliant with all provisions of law and has no intention to stoke a misunderstanding over requests from the office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.
“Furthermore, the Commission’s mandate, operational philosophy and the conduct and pronouncements of its officials do not countenance any activity on the fringes of the law. It is therefore untenable for there to be any suggestion that the EFCC or the Commission’s principal officials are either in conflict with or readying for a “showdown” with the AGF or other officials of government.
Uwujaren remarked that any such “conflicts” being paraded in the media existed only in the fertile imaginations of corrupt elements angling to knock heads together in furtherance of their own pro-corruption agenda.
“All the brouhaha raised in recent days over a non-existent conflict between the EFCC and the office of the AGF only go to underline the fact that corruption can and is fighting back in a variety of ways.
“The Commission wishes to underscore that the EFCC is a creation of statute and its operations and officials being as they are, guided by the firm, unambiguous provisions of those laws and regulations, are not and can never be in contravention of the law or opposition to constituted authority,” he stated.
Magu was accused by the AGF of breaching section 10(1) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Enforcement) Regulations 2010, which mandates the EFCC to forward the outcome of investigations along with its recommendations to the AGF in cases or complaints that are “serious or complex.
“A case is considered “serious or complex” if it has significant international dimension, involves money or assets of a value exceeding N50 million or requires specialised knowledge of financial, commercial, fiscal or regulatory matters such as the operations of the markets, banking systems, trusts or tax regimes,” it was learnt.