“Magu Ordered my Detention” – Godwin Obla Says

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One of the former Prosecutors of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Chief Godwin Obla (SAN) Reveals that Deputy chief and EFCC boss, Magu ordered his detention after he demanded N763.9Million in Legal Fees.

Speaking futher, he said Magu ordered his detention over triumphed Decision after bribing a judge om the case.

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Obla 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’.

The senior advocate testified before the panel in the presence of Magu at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa on Monday.

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He also presented 12 questions to the panel which he said the suspended EFCC chairman must answer and made five recommendations.

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.

“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.

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The senior advocate said all subsequent letters sent to the EFCC were ignored but the fee was never contested. He said rather than pay him his legal fees, Magu decided to level several allegations against him in order to discredit and deny him his due.

“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.

The senior advocate, who helped the EFCC to secure the conviction of a former Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Temisan Omatseye, in 2016, said he in the course of the case which lasted for six years, he travelled from his base in Abuja to Lagos several times and made 46 court appearances but was not paid a penny.

He said despite securing the conviction for the EFCC, Magu accused him of bribing Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia to secure the conviction.

Obla said, “I have never made any payment of N5m or any other amount to Justice Ajumogobia. To the best of my recollection, the payment of N5m under reference was a payment I made on May 21, 2015 to a company named Nigel & Colive Nig. Ltd, for the purchase of building materials for my construction site in Abuja (now my present office building).

“At that material time of this commercial transaction and till date, I had no prior knowledge that Justice Ajumogobia had any interest whatsoever in the company.”

The senior advocate said based on the allegations, he was informed by EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, that Magu, had personally directed that he be detained and he remained in custody for 21 days before he was subsequently arraigned alongside the judge.

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