Prominent civil society groups involved in anti-corruption have written to President Muhammadu Buhari, informing him of 14 high-profile corruption allegations against the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
The allegations range from financial sleaze involving him and his family to influence peddling.
The groups in a joint letter sent to the President called for immediate probe of Malami.
The letter was signed by Olanrewaju Suraju of Civil Society Network Against Corruption, Debo Adeniran of Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, and Ezenwa Nwagwu of Say No Campaign.
The groups said the immediate option before the Malami was to resign and give way for full inquiry into the grand allegations that seem to portray him as stunningly corrupt.
The statement reads, “It has to be now or never. There are very strong allegations of corruption against Mr Abubakar Malami with clear evidence. President Buhari should act now. We have listed these corruption cases after painstaking compilation of high profile corruption cases involving the country’s No 1 law officer. The President must act without delay.
“We are perturbed by these reports considering the revered position occupied by Mr. Malami, being the number one law officer of the country. Some of the allegations as conveyed in the media reports go to the root of breakdown of law and order and total disregard for the rule of law. These allegations serve as a slap in the face to your Excellency’s administration foremost goal of ridding the Nation of corruption. These allegations are totally opposite the core objectives of your administration and international perception of the country.”
Top on the list is the alleged auctioning of vessels holding crude oil seized by the Federal Government, violating Section 31(2) and (4) of the EFCC Act 2004.
“The AGF also authorized the sale of these vessels by companies under EFCC prosecution for similar offence of illegal bunkering and this action was admitted by the AGF through his media aide pleading presumption of innocence on the part of the accused, in the case being prosecuted by the Federal Government through EFCC,” the statement added.
Continuing, it said, “The minister also barred the prosecution of the former Comptroller-General of Customs, Mohammed Inde Dikko, through a suspicious deal between the him and the Immediate past DSS Director on one side and the Comptroller General of Customs to refund $8 million to the Federal Government.
“The case was discontinued as Justice Dimgba refused to allow further prosecution of this matter under the guise that Mr. Dikko had kept his promise under the agreement by refunding N1,576,000,000 and more to the FG through the EFCC funds recovery account in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The FG earlier accused Mr. Dikko of stealing over N40 billion.
“Some of the properties listed in his name were a multimillion naira Rayhaan Hotels worth about N500million, located at opposite Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Zaria Road, Kano State, a property worth about N600million Naira locate at Ahmadu Bello Way, Nasarawa GRA, Kano, a newly constructed school at the back of Nitel at Gesse Phase 1, Birni Kebbi worth about N700million, a multi million Naira property built by Mr. Malami for his son located at Gesse Phase II in Birni Kabbi worth over N400 million, a mansion known as Azbir Arena allegedly built by Mr. Malami for his second son. Azbir Arena an entertainment centre worth over N3 Billion, with a big plaza and kids playing centre and hotel all combined in one expansive property.
“At ICPC, Mr Malami also displayed his unpretentious hatred for the fight against corruption by writing a letter dated 16th December, 2016 withdrawing the case of fraud filed against Mr. Godsday Orubebe, the former Minister of Niger Delta, in a case involving over N1.97billion, on the ground that in his opinion, there was no basis for filing the charge against him.”
“We strongly believe that the above allegations are deserving of thorough, immediate and urgent investigation through an independent panel of inquiry and the Attorney General suspended from office pending the conclusion of this investigation; the veracity or otherwise of these allegations is essential for the sanity of the public service.
“The law presumes any allegation as a suspicion until the suspect is so proven guilty; we as organizations, relentless in seeing transparency and accountability actualized and that due process is deployed in investigating corruption, abuse of power and office belief the allegations leveled against the Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami is deserving of your urgent action.
“We believe in due process which is why we have forwarded this petition to your Excellency for proper and diligent investigation and timeous action in order to restore the sanity of the core mandate of your administration to fight corruption which is at the verge of collapse as a result of the alleged abuse of power and office by the incumbent Attorney-General and Minster of Justice.”