A former prosecutor with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Godwin Obla (SAN), has alleged that the suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu ordered his detention for demanding for his legal fees.
He said EFCC under Magu refused to pay him a joint sum of N763.9m in legal fees and threatened to detain him with bribery allegation when he demanded for his dues.
The Magu saga and the future of EFCC Magu and albatross around EFCC chairmen’s neck Obla reportedly said this while reading out an 18-page letter to the Justice Ayo Salami-led Presidential panel titled, ‘Presentation In Respect of Malicious and Reckless Abuse of State Power of Investigation and Prosecution Resulting in Mismanagement of Forfeited Assets by Deliberate and Contrived Incompetence and Suspicious Dealing of Forfeited Assets.’
Obla testified before the panel in the presence of Magu at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa on Monday.
Obla, who presented over 10 documents to the panel including his bill of charges, said he prosecuted 40 cases for the EFCC including those of former bank chiefs sacked by the Central Bank of Nigeria under the leadership of Lamido Sanusi and also helped the commission recover hundreds of billions of naira in cash and assets.
He said, “As of date, the EFCC owes me an outstanding balance of N685, 389, 928.10 and $202,460.47 (N78.5m) or its naira equivalent at the prevailing Central Bank of Nigeria exchange rate, together with interest at prime lending rate, being professional fees for the prosecution of over 40 high profile cases".
See Statement of Claim in Suit No: FCT/CV/3220/17 BETWEEN Obla v. EFCC.” “In effect, Ibrahim Magu deliberately and maliciously denied me the fruits of my services for EFCC whilst putting me to great expense to defend a worthless charge,” the lawyer said.
Magu and his legal team have maintained that the former EFCC boss did no wrong and that it was wrong for the panel to invite someone facing corruption charges to testify against Magu.