Magu: Transparency International dismisses EFCC’s claim of endorsement

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Transparency International has denied reports that it had endorsed the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu.

TI’s reaction is an apparent response to a statement by Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC head of Media and Publicity, suggesting that Magu has the endorsement of the body.

Uwujaren in a statement titled – Magu To Speak At Transparency International Conference on March 21, said he was invited to speak at an international conference in recognition of the role he had played in the recovery of stolen funds.

But in a press release, TI said: “in light of reports in Nigerian press, TI-UK would like to clarify the following points:

“The event is being hosted by Transparency International UK, Global Witness and The Corner House.

“This event does not constitute an official follow-up to the London Anti-Corruption Summit, hosted by the UK Government in May 2016.

“The purpose of this event is to contribute to the discussion about the effectiveness of the UK-Nigerian asset recovery process, and more generally the UK’s asset recovery regime.

“All invited guests speak on behalf of either themselves or the organisation they represent – their participation does not represent an endorsement by TI-UK.”

The denial of the endorsement came one day after an Abuja High Court Judge berated the EFCC for issuing a false statement against a suspect.

Uwujaren had issued a press statement claiming that a defendant, Nicholas Ashinze, an aide to ex-NSA, Sambo Dasuki, had been indicted by the court for diverting and misappropriating the sum of N36 billion.

Counsel to Ashinze, Ernest Nwoye, drew the attention of Justice Gabriel Kolawole to the false press statement issued by Uwujaren to newspapers.

Nwoye, therefore asked the court to establish bias and misrepresentation of the court proceeding of March 7, 2017 by the anti-graft agency.

Justice Kolawole granted his prayers and ordered that the EFCC led by Mr Magu must desist from misleading the public. He directed the EFCC to retract the statement released by Mr Uwujaren between now and April 13, 2017.

Justice Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja stated that, “If you want to try the defendant in the media, you have to limit yourself to the media. You have to stop misleading the public in the fact of this trial”.

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