Justice Salami Slams Nigerian Press over False Reports
*Says he never said he regretted his appointment
Chairman of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry for the Investigation of erstwhile chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Justice Ayo Salami, has denied saying he regretted his appointment to head the probe commission, saying the Nigerian press need to uphold the tenets of their profession.
The suspended EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu, was being investigated for alleged abuse of office and mismanagement of federal government’s recovered assets and finances from Mat 2015 to May 2020.
Media reports on Monday claimed he expressed regret over his acceptance of the appointment, tending to give the impression that the commission was a charade.
The former president of the Court of Appeal in Nigeria on Tuesday termed the reports as false and mischievous.
He said in a press release, a copy of which Nigerian Sketch obtained that “No claim can be further from the truth than the outright falsehood contained in the said report.”
He also dismissed the reporter of the initial report, the two lawyers he quoted as his sources and the medium that published the story as wildly imaginative, saying 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 sitting.”
Justice Salami said he had no cause to regret his chairmanship of the commission and sees his appointment as “an honour and call to service”, adding that he had never appointed the two lawyers to speak on his behalf.
The jurist said he has handled cases that were more complex than the present one when he was president of the Court of Appeal, explaining that lawyers to Magu have been engaging in similar conduct of planting false stories about the commission in the media.
The commission’s chairman implored the Nigerian Press to “respect and uphold the sanctity of the tenets of ethical journalism practice of verification of information, balancing reports and contacting appropriate sources before publishing their reports in the spirit of patriotism and national interest.”