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Magu’s visit to Rivers CJ an honest gesture- EFCC

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Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says the visit by its acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, to the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Iyayi Laminkara, was an honest gesture.

The EFCC said this in a statement by its spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, on Tuesday.

The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, had accused the commission of planning to search his home and humiliate him. He had also proceeded to court to stop the EFCC from investigating him.

Magu’s visit, according to some media reports, had caused the Rivers State House of Assembly to be suspicious of the judge, and the lawmakers were planning to invite her.

However, the EFCC said the visit was a routine one.

The statement read in part, “It is important to state that the visit by the EFCC boss to the Rivers State Chief Judge was not over any case pending before her or any judge under her control. Rather, it was a courtesy call as part of Magu’s working visit to Port Harcourt, headquarters of the South-South zonal office of the commission. Apart from the Chief Judge, Magu also visited the Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Zaki Ahmed.

“Indeed, it is a matter of routine courtesy for the EFCC boss to visit critical stakeholders, particularly law enforcement and justice sector leaders in zones where the commission maintain offices. Such gestures are not meant to compromise or influence them to favour the commission in the discharge of their responsibilities.

“The commission believes it has a shared responsibility with other workers in the justice delivery chain to promote the fight against corruption and visits such as the one to the Rivers Chief Judge offers opportunity to share experiences and remind them of their responsibilities under the EFCC Act especially as it relates to the designation of judges to handle EFCC cases.”

The anti-graft agency said Justice Laminkara was not the first Chief Judge to host Magu and it would be distasteful to malign her over a civilized gesture of receiving a head of a federal agency.

It said many Judges had hosted Magu without a whimper from any quarter.

“Before now, the EFCC boss visited the Chief Judges of Lagos, Ogun and Oyo states. At the federal level, he has paid courtesy visits to the Chief Judges of the Federal High Court, the Federal Capital Territory High Court and the President of the Court of Appeal.

These visits have not stopped the commission from losing cases before judges under the supervision of these respected judicial officials,” the commission said.

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