Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of federation (AGF), has kicked against the accusation of the Anambra government on the recent action of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Wille Obiano, governor of the state.
TheCable had reported on Tuesday that the EFCC, in a letter dated November 15 and addressed to the comptroller-general of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS), asked to be informed whenever Obiano is seen attempting to travel out of the country.
It is not yet clear why the anti-graft agency placed Obiano on a watchlist but sources said the Anambra governor is being investigated by the commission.
Reacting to the development, Don Adinuba, the state commissioner for information, in a statement earlier on Thursday, said the issue between the governor and the EFCC is masterminded by persons in high places who “unsuccessfully canvassed for emergency rule” in the state during the build-up to the governorship election.
‘MALAMI IS THE MASTERMIND’
Speaking in an interview on Channels Television on Thursday evening, Adinuba said the EFCC is supervised by the minister of justice, and alleged that Malami is behind the EFCC’s action against Obiano.
“The EFCC is supervised by the minister of justice and the office of the attorney-general of the federation and that is the reason why you are having all these,” he said.
“I’m sorry that it is extremely difficult to hear a favourable judgement about the conduct of the office of the attorney-general in the last four years or thereabouts.
“It is a pity that even the NBA has issued a very strong press statement on the conduct and professionalism of the people in the office of the attorney-general of the federation.
“The office of the attorney-general of the federation is actually a sacred mandate; it is a creation of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is not just any other political office.
“About two months ago, I was on this programme and I did tell you that the attempt to impose emergency rule on Anambra state was politically motivated, events have proved me right. I have been vindicated.
Asked if he has evidence to support the allegations made, he said Malami was a member of the Andy Uba governorship campaign council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the just concluded Anambra election.
“This is the first time in Nigeria’s history that we’ve seen the attorney-general of the federation being a member of a political campaign. it has never happened,” he said.
“Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, was a member of the Andy Uba gubernatorial council. That is unprecedented in our history.
“Typically, in a democracy, especially in a presidential democracy, there are certain people who do not get involved in domestic politics. For example, the secretary of state in the United States of America and of course the attorney-general.
“In the case of Nigeria, the AGF is not expected to get involved in politics even though everybody knows that he is typically a member of the ruling party.”
‘MALAMI DOES NOT INTERFERE IN ACTIVITIES OF AGENCIES’
Reacting to an enquiry sent by TheCable, Umar Gwandu, Malami’s spokesperson, in a statement, said the AGF does not interfere in the activities of the agencies and institutions of the federal government.
Gwandu said it amounts to “shadow chasing, flimsy excuses and concoctions of jittery minds” to suggest that Malami influences certain operations.
“It is important to state that the attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice neither interferes with nor dictates the operations of any of the federal government agencies/institutions that he statutorily supervises,” the statement reads.
“Such agencies have the mandate to discharge their responsibilities in compliance with the extant laws.
“To suggest that Abubakar Malami, SAN, in his personal or official capacity as attorney-general of the federation and minister of justice teleguides certain operations is tantamount to shadow chasing, flimsy excuses and concoctions of jittery minds.
“It is on the record that past and serving politically exposed persons, regardless of political inclination or party affiliation, are being invited by investigation agencies in order to bear their cross for infractions committed.
“Activities of the federal government are a pointer to the renewed vigour in the fight against corruption in all ramifications. This is done without fear or favour and devoid of any sentiment.
“The officers concerned should focus their energies and vocal dexterities in proving their innocence or blaming their actions, inactions, commissions or omissions and not the honourable attorney-general of the federation.
“It is a pity that we have such a people in the country that if they could not see the sun in the morning they will, without any justification or scientific inquiry, jump into the conclusion and claim that ‘the attorney-general of the federation hid the sun’ or ‘Malami caused disappearance of the sun to elongate the night’.”