The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has denied being involved in the recent placement of Anambra State Governor, Wille Obiano, on a watchlist by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
KanyiDaily recalls that the EFCC had in a letter addressed to the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) dated November 15, 2021, asked the NIS to place Obiano on a watchlist.
The EFCC also asked the NIS to inform the commission anytime the governor is traveling out of the country from any of the international airports and other entry and exit points in the country.
It is not clear why the EFCC placed Obiano on the security watch, but sources said the anti-graft agency may have been investigating the Anambra governor and possibly have intelligence that he plans to escape after he hands over power to his successor, Prof Charles Soludo.
Reacting to the development, Anambra Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C.Don Adinuba accused AGF Malami of using his office against Governor Obiano.
‘Malami Is Targeting Obiano’
Speaking in an interview on Channels Television on Thursday evening, Adinuba said the move against Obiano is masterminded by persons in high places who “unsuccessfully canvassed for emergency rule” in the state during the build-up to the governorship election.
He said, “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.
“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.
Adinuba said, “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.”
‘Malami Does Not Interfere In EFCC Activities’
Reacting in a statement on Thursday, Malami’s media aide, Umar Gwandu described the claims by the Anambra Commissioner as a flimsy excuse coming from a jittery mind.
Gwandu said the AGF does not interfere in the activities of the agencies and institutions under his ministry, adding that he discharges his constitutional duties without sentiments or political prejudice.
He said, “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.
“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’.”
Meanwhile, Adinubu has revealed that Governor Obiano is currently out of the country, but he’s is willing to answer any questions the EFCC has for him regarding his eight years in office.