Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
As condemnation and outrage trail the alleged N1 billion car gifts by the immediate-past Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to his supporters in Kebbi State, a civil society organisation, Human and Environmental Agenda, has called for “thorough, immediate and urgent investigation” of the former Attorney General.
The car gifts, according to the CSO include “14 Mercedes Benz, eight Prado SUVs, four Toyota Hilux and four Lexus LX.”
According to reports, “the beneficiaries were social media influencers, executive members of Mr Malami’s foundation and women support groups.”
The CSO claimed that such a display of opulence was a confirmation that the former Minister must have corruptly enriched himself.
Ikengaonline recalls that Malami is yet to clear himself of alleged illegal crude oil sale to China worth billions of Naira while in office.
The CSO in a petition to the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, also demanded Malami’s probe over several allegations of corruption and abuse of office levelled against him.
The rights group expressed disappointment over the lack of investigation by anti-graft agencies into those glaring allegations against Malami.
According to it the attitude of anti-graft agencies in handling allegations of grafts against influential personalities especially those in Government leaves much to be desired.
It further alleged that such lack of investigation of corruption allegations against high profile personalities was at its peak while Malami was in office.
“Such attitude came to the root of breakdown of law and order and total disregard for the rule of law while Mr Malami served as Minister of Justice.”
The group said that the recent “distribution of 30 car gifts worth over N1,000,000,000 to his supporters in Kebbi State,” should not be swept under the carpet.
Other allegations highlighted by the group include, “Illegal auctioning of sea vessels holding crude oil seized by the Federal Government; violating Section 31(2) and (4) of the EFCC Act 2004 and assuming the role conferred on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as reported by The Cable Newspaper on July 13, 2020.
“Alleged duplicity of payment of $16.9m fees to two friends as new lawyers for the recovery of the loot traced to a former Nigerian Head of State, Sani Abacha, after a Swiss lawyer, Enrico Monfrini, hired and fully paid by the previous government to help in the recovery, had completed his brief as reported by Premium Times on April 10, 2018.
“It was alleged that Mr Malami undertook the action with the intention for kickback from the deal.
“Allegedly seeking the withdrawal of cases against Bello Adoke, Diezani Alison-Madueke, Abubakar Aliyu and others involved in the Malabu scandal through his letters to former President Muhammadu Buhari on the grounds of lack of significant evidence to prove allegations of sharp practices against prominent players in OPL 245 oil deal,” among others.
HEDA told President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to quickly order for the investigation of Malami over the heap of allegations against him.