…asks EFCC to probe AGF
Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, on Tuesday, urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to probe the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), over his alleged distribution of exotic sport utility vehicles to politicians in Kebbi State.
HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said it is illegal enough that Malami declared his ambition to succeed Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi in May 2023, without resigning his position as minister as mandated by the Electoral Act.
The group described as untenable and diversionary, Malami’s denial that it was his friends and associates who donated and distributed the vehicles.
HURIWA also challenged Malami to publish the list of his friends who donated those cars as he reportedly claimed and also furnish Nigerians with the receipts of purchases of the vehicles so Nigerians from all over the world can easily make inquiry from the sellers if they are overseas.
The group said it is relying on the Freedom of Information Act to make the demand publicly.
In a statement after the photos of the lush vehicles went viral, Malami’s spokesman, Umar Gwandu, claimed, “It was friends and associates of Malami who donated and distributed vehicles to long term workers in the Khadimiyya Foundation.”
However, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “The excuse of the AGF through his aide is the same ambiguous and one-sided strategy that all politicians use during campaigns. They use phantom groups as alleged shield to divert what is alleged to be ill-gotten money and fund campaign expenses, as corroborated by Transparency International recently which raised the alarm over that support groups use stolen funds to purchase exotic cars for party delegates and party forms politicians.
“It is very suspicious that the so-called chief law officer who has been in charge of the recovery of foreign loots including those of the late Sani Abacha and James Ibori is involved in this bogus donation of cars to party delegates even if remotely through his affiliates and friends.
“He could have dissuaded those so-called friends not to proceed with this illegality given his frontline role in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari that lay claims to fighting corruption.
“The EFCC must probe Malami and his so-called friends whose names are not mentioned by the AGF’s spokesman. Who are they? What is their pedigree to afford 200 lush SUVs?
“The anti-corruption agency must quit its keeping cool whilst ministers like Malami allegedly fritter millions buying cars for delegates, buying nomination forms.
“It is also important to state that the EFCC is complicit in corruption by refusing to probe the Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba; Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi; and other serving ministers, governors, and appointees who have purchased the exorbitant N100 million nomination and expression of interest forms of the ruling APC.
“The silence and inaction of the Rasheed Bawa-led EFCC can instigate a big protest worst than EndSARS if nothing is done to reassure Nigerians that EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission are not already hijacked by corrupt politicians.”
HURIWA further slammed the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) for failing to compel his appointees to comply with the provision in the Electoral Act that demands that political appointees should resign before pursuing any electoral ambition.