A former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami (retd), has denied reports about him expressing regrets for accepting the appointment to chair the Federal Government’s Judicial Commission of Inquiry probing the suspended Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu.
Since July, the panel, which was set up by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), has been probing Magu for various allegations, including abuse of office and mismanagement of recovered assets, leveled against him in a memo sent to Buhari by the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN).
Reports had quoted two lawyers representing Magu saying Salami expressed regrets accepting the appointment during the proceedings of the panel last week.
But Salami, in a statement on Tuesday, maintained that he had no cause to regret his chairmanship of the commission, let alone betraying any form of emotion.
The former President of the Court of Appeal, however, did not address other allegations, including violation of Magu’s rights to fair hearing and acting outside the powers of the commission.
Reacting to reports of him expressing regrets taking up the role on Tuesday, Salami said, “The reports were a figment of the wild imagination of the reporter, the two lawyers quoted as his sources, and the medium that published the story.
“There was no time anything near the unthinkable scenario painted in the false story occurred in any meeting between myself and the lawyers to Magu or any other person for that matter since the Judicial Commission of Inquiry began its sittings.
“I see my appointment to serve as the chairman of the Commission of Inquiry as an honour and call to service, thus my decision to accept diligently and patrioticaIIy discharge this responsibility.”
He said the reports were not strange to him “given the manner in which the lawyers to Magu have been carrying on in the conduct of their client’s case before the Commission.
He stated, “Planting such lies in the media about proceedings at the panel has been their pastime.
“They believe that it is by engaging in such media propaganda against the commission that their client can be easily absolved of the various allegations that have been brought against him.
“I want to state here that these type of lies and blackmail will not deter me and other members of the Commission from discharging our duty conscientiously.”