Malami Withdraws From Kebbi Governorship Race, Cites Patriotism For Decision

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.
File photo: Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.

 

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami on Saturday said he has withdrawn from the Kebbi Governorship race.

According to a statement signed by his spokesperson, Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, Malami cited “altruism and patriotism” as reasons for his decision.

His withdrawal comes after President Muhammadu Buhari asked members of his cabinet with political ambitions to resign.

Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, had also abandoned his presidential ambitions to avoid resignation.

READ ALSO: Nine Ministers Seeking Elective Positions Resign After Buhari’s Order

“Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has not resigned,” Gwandu’s Saturday statement said. “He withdrew his ambition to contest for the 2023 Kebbi State Gubernatorial Elections.

“Malami has the right to choose to voluntarily shelve his gubernatorial ambition. It is a matter of personal conviction and individual right which didn’t violate any law.

“Right thinking members of the society accord respect to individual’s right to freedom of choice in matters relating to this.

“As individual Nigerian citizens with inalienable fundamental rights, we are not aware of any legally justifiable and reasonable tenable obligations compelling the person of Abubakar Malami, SAN or as an Attorney General of the Federation to do otherwise.

“The decision is not only a demonstration of altruism and patriotism, but of contentment, self-control, placidity and decisiveness in problem-solving at a time shrouded with confusing and competing stimulus. It is a commendable posture worthy admiration coming from a paragon of virtue.”

Court Nullifies AGF’s Sale, Disposal Of Recovered Assets

A photo combination of a court gavel and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
A photo combination of a court gavel and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has nullified all sales and disposals of assets made by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, under the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019.

The court also nullified the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019 for being “an invalid statutory instrument.”

It held that the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019 were “ultra vires the office and powers” of the AGF.

Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa made the order in a suit filed by the plaintiff, the Incorporated Trustees of the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) Resource Centre, against the AGF.

READ ALSO: Buhari Returns To Abuja After COP-15 Summit In Abidjan

On November 9, 2020, the AGF inaugurated the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the disposal of assets forfeited to the Federal Government.

This, according to the minister, was in accordance with the president’s directive in October 2018 following recommendations of the Presidential Audit Committee on Recovery and Management of Stolen Assets and a need for efficient management of the assets.

But HEDA, through its counsel, Omotayo Olatubosun, challenged the AGF’s power to set up the committee.

It argued that the Regulations conflicted with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Act, Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administrative Act, 2015, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Act, 2004 and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission Act (ICPC), 2000, among others, on the matter of disposal of final forfeited assets.

The court judgment

The plaintiff sought nine reliefs, including the nullification of all disposals of assets by the AGF’s Committee.

In its judgment, the court dismissed the AGF’s preliminary objection argued by its counsel, Tolu Mokunolu, and granted all of HEDA’s reliefs as prayed on the motion paper.

Justice Lewis-Allagoa held: “I am entirely in agreement with the submission of counsels to the plaintiff that the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019 are contrary to the statutory provisions of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC Act, Trafficking in Persons Cohabitation Enforcement and Administration Act, NDLEA Act and Immigration Act.

“A careful perusal of the above statutory provisions will show the provisions for the Attorney-General of the Federation to make regulations for the agencies for disposal of assets under the various enactments listed above.

“The above statutory enactments are therefore the enabling source of the Attorney-General of the Federation to the regulations.

“Consequently, the administrative powers to be exercised by the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation must flow from the enabling statutes.

“It is pertinent to state that the powers of the Attorney-General of the Federation do not override the provisions of the enabling statutes stabilising the powers of the law enforcement agencies and anti-corruption agencies and consequently the powers referred to in the commencement clause of the regulations merely are to be exercised in accordance with the Acts not to usurp the mandatory powers vested in the law enforcement agencies and the anti-corruption agencies.

“I am therefore in agreement with counsel for the plaintiff that the executive orders or any other forms of definition can be issued pursuant to session 315 of the Constitution; however, they are limited to enactments predating the 1999 Constitution.

“The Acts under Consideration in this instant suit were enacted after the 1999 Constitution and do not fall within the ambit of session 315 of the 1999 Constitution.

“In all and for the reasons hereinbefore given in this judgement, the questions put for determination in the originating summons are answered in favour of the plaintiff and all the reliefs sought are granted as prayed. This is the judgment of the court read in the open court.”

The Plaintiff’s reliefs granted by the judge include a declaration that by the ICPC Act, the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019 “is an invalid statutory instrument the former having conferred no power arrogated by the Defendant to himself in the latter Regulations;

“An Order nullifying the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019 as an invalid statutory instrument same being in excess of the provisions of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission Act, 2000;

“An Order nullifying all sales and disposals of assets made by the Defendant pursuant to the said Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019 same being ultra vires the office and powers of the Defendant.”

2023: Friends, Associates Donated N135m Vehicles In Kebbi – Malami

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.
File photo: Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.

 

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Tuesday said his friends and political associates donated N135 million worth of vehicles in Kebbi State.

Malami, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is believed to be nursing a governorship ambition to succeed outgoing Governor Atiku Bagudu.

Addressing journalists in Birnin-Kebbi, the minister said he did not donate vehicles to any Kebbi State APC Excos or delegates.

READ ALSO: Zoning: Avoid Self-Inflicted Crises Before General Elections, Akeredolu Tells APC

“Recent donation of N135m has opened doors for donations and supports of many items including vehicles by well-wishers,” Malami said.

“It was friends and associates of Malami who donated and distributed vehicles to long term workers in the Khadimiyya Foundation.

“The occasion was not for distribution of vehicles to any APC stakeholder. None of the APC  stakeholder or delegates in Kebbi State was given any vehicle by Malami. I have not yet donated any vehicle to any delegate.

“You can contact the National Secretariat of the APC, get the lists of all the APC stakeholders and delegates in Kebbi State. Do an investigative story to reach out to them then you realise how fictitious is the claim.”

According to Malami, the story attributing vehicle distribution to him was mischievous and misconstrued information.

This is coming amid reports and viral photos that the minister allegedly donated sports utility vehicles of assorted brands to APC politicians in Kebbi State.

Malami Has Not Resigned As Minister, Says Spokesman

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.
A file photo of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

 

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has not resigned.

Umar Gwandu, the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, said this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

Rather, he stated that the minister remained committed to discharging statutory obligations and constitutionally delineated responsibilities in accordance with the provisions of extant laws.

According to Gwandu, Malami is grateful to Nigerians for the demonstration of love and the interest shown in him.

He issued the statement in reaction to the claim that the minister had resigned from President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet to pursue his political ambition.

READ ALSO: I Am Yet To Declare Interest In Kebbi Governorship Seat, Says Malami

Besides the statement by Gwandu, an aide to the President on social media, Lauretta Onochie, also denied the claim, saying it was fake news.

 

Ahead of the general elections, reports had emerged that Malami has publicly declared his interest to become the next governor of Kebbi State.

But Gwandu, in a swift reaction, stated that the minister had yet to declare interest to contest for any elective position in the 2023 general elections.

He stressed that the declaration to contest for a political position was never a hidden affair or clandestine operation that could be reported as a scoop by a section of the media.

“A video being circulated as the purported declaration was mischievously translated with fabricated insertions and interpolations that cannot in spirit and context establish the misinformation circulated,” the minister’s spokesman had said in a statement on Tuesday.

At the appropriate time, according to him, the people will “hear from the horse’s mouth” in the full glare of the media, stakeholders, like-minds, party faithful, and supporters.

I Am Yet To Declare Interest In Kebbi Governorship Seat, Says Malami

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.
A file photo of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, during an interview on Channels Television.

 

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, says he has yet to declare interest to contest for any elective position in the 2023 general elections.

His Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja amid reports that the minister has declared to join the governorship race in Kebbi State.

Gwandu explained that the clarification became necessary in view of a ‘false and fabricated publication’ in some sections of the media.

He said the declaration to contest for a political position was never a hidden affair or clandestine operation that could be reported as a scoop by a section of the media.

READ ALSO: ‘A Very Simple Thing’, APGA Can Handle Nigeria’s Security Challenges – Victor Oye

Rather, Malami’s spokesman stated that the report was triggered out of curiosity and eagerness by followers and loyalists.

“A video being circulated as the purported declaration was mischievously translated with fabricated insertions and interpolations that cannot in spirit and context establish the misinformation circulated,” the statement said.

The minister, however, thanked his supporters and the general public for expressing their interest.

At the appropriate time, according to Gwandu, the people will “hear from the horse’s mouth” in the full glare of the media, stakeholders, like-minds, party faithful, and supporters.

I Didn’t Exonerate Kyari, I Only Asked For Further Probe – Malami

L-R (A combination photo of Abba Kyari and Abubakar Malami).

 

Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, (SAN) has described as false the media reports that his office had conclusively exonerated Abba Kyari.

The clarification was made in a statement issued on Sunday by Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

According to Gwandu, there appears to be a misunderstanding regarding the issue.

Read Also: Abba Kyari Pleads ‘Not Guilty’ To Drug Trafficking Charges

“It was a case of a work in progress and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation requested for further probe in relation to some aspects of the investigation,” the statement read in part.

The embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, Kyari, who is wanted in the United States for his alleged involvement in a $1.1m scam carried out by a notorious Internet fraudster, Ramon Abass, a.k.a Hushpuppi, was suspended by the police in July 2021.

Months later, the AGF affirmed that investigations carried out by the police had indicted the once-celebrated officer for money laundering.

“The position now is that there are prima facie grounds – reasonable grounds for suspicion that have been considered from the perspective of prosecution, from the perspective of likely extradition, if the need for so doing arises,” the Minister who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today had said in February.

However, according to a separate letter reportedly written on behalf of the AGF by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ministry of Justice, the evidence contained in the case diary was not sufficient to indicate or show that the said monies (N279mn) were laundered directly or indirectly by Kyari.

The alleged contradiction in the AGF’s statements sparked speculations in the media that he was plotting to exonerate Kyari.

But Gwandu’s statement on Sunday insisted that was not the case.

“The office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice’s stance is that no conclusion has been reached in the direction of an absence of evidence relating to the first report,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, Kyari who is now facing fresh drug trafficking charges brought against him by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), pleaded not guilty before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja on Monday.

The NDLEA had filed eight counts of hard drug trafficking against him along with six others.

According to the agency, Mr Kyari, between January 19 and 25, dealt in 17.55 kilograms of cocaine.

He is also being charged with obstruction of justice through attempted bribery of NDLEA officers.

Anti-Torture Act: Court Grants MRA Permission To Sue AGF

A file photo of a court gavel.
A file photo of a court gavel.

 

A Federal High Court in Lagos has granted Media Rights Agenda (MRA) permission to apply for an order of mandamus to compel the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) to exercise the mandatory legal duty stipulated in Section 11 of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017 to make rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the Act.

Justice Tijjani Garba Ringim issued the order allowing MRA to apply to the court to compel the Attorney-General of the Federation to make the rules and regulations following a motion bought on behalf of MRA by its lawyer, Mrs. Bankeye Akinwale, in which the organization claimed that although Section 11 of the Anti-Torture Act mandated the Attorney-General to make rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the Act, he has since 2017 failed to do so.

The organisation is complaining that despite the enactment of the Act in 2017, there have continued to be various allegations made by journalists, and other individuals and citizens of Nigeria of being subjected to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment by officials of law enforcement agencies and other government officials and non-state actors.

Read Also: Katsina APC Reacts As Court Freezes Local Government Council’s Account

MRA said in an effort to ensure that the Attorney-General complies with the provision of the law, it wrote a letter of demand dated August 20, 2021, to him requesting him to perform the statutory duty imposed on him by the Act but that the Minister has failed, neglected and refused to comply with the demand and to perform his statutory duty.

The organisation said following the failure of the Attorney-General to perform the statutory duty imposed on him by the Section 11 of the Act, it decided to approach the court to ask for an order granting the organization permission to apply for an order of mandamus to compel him to perform the mandatory legal duty imposed on him by Section 11 of the Act.

Ruling on the motion, Justice Ringim said after careful consideration of the application, upon reading through the verifying affidavit deposed to by Mr. John Gbadamosi, MRA’s Programme Officer, as well as the exhibits attached and after hearing the submissions of Mrs. Akinwale, MRA’s lawyer who moved in terms of the motion paper, he was granting an order to MRA to apply to the court for the order of mandamus that it is seeking.

Specifically, the judge gave clearance to MRA to apply for an order of mandamus to compel the Attorney-General to exercise the mandatory legal duty stipulated in Section 11 of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017 and for the organization to seek the following reliefs:

· A declaration that the failure of the Attorney-General to make rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017 as imposed on him by Section 11 of the Act is a breach of the law;

· An order of mandamus compelling the Attorney-General to carry out the duty imposed on him by Section 11 of the Act;

· An order of mandamus compelling the Attorney-General to carry out the request contained in MRA’s letter of demand dated August 20, 2021, delivered to him on August 23, 2021, wherein MRA requested him to make the rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the Act;

· An order directing the Attorney-General to pay to the organization the sum of N5 million as exemplary and aggravated damages for the flagrant violation of Section 11 of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017.

Justice Ringim, however, ruled that the grant of the order is conditional on MRA filing a written undertaking for costs within two days of the ruling in the event that it turns out that the order ought not to have been granted in the first place.

Justice Dispensation: I Didn’t Blame Judiciary – Malami

A file photo of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami.

 

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, (SAN) has debunked claims that he blamed the judiciary for the delay in the handling of high-profile corruption cases in the country.

In a statement issued by Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Malami said he noted with dismay the way his response to a question in a recent interview was construed to evoke “unintended and non-existing inferences” which some mischief makers projected as him blaming the judiciary.

“It was an innocent statement aimed at showing and re-enacting the tripartite division of powers and responsibilities among the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary,” he said.


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Further defending his comments, Malami said the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government accords respect to the democratic provisions of the doctrine of separation of powers among the three independent and separate arms of government.

According to him, the Federal Government maintained the sanctity of the provisions of Sections 4, 5 and 6 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that delineate the roles and responsibilities of the executives, legislature and judiciary.

He said it was on this note that the Federal Government supported the review of Section 121(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to accommodate the provisions for financial autonomy of the state legislature and judiciary.

In addition to the Constitutional provisions, the AGF explained that the Federal Government also came up with Executive Order 10 to enforce the provision of autonomy of State Legislature and Judiciary.

Malami said it is on the record that the Buhari-led Federal Government has a record of non-interference with or meddling into the affairs of the legislature and judiciary.

It was within the context of this quality and feature of non-interference by the Buhari-led Federal government and for the avoidance of sub-judice that the Minister responded that high-profile cases were presented by the Federal Government for prosecution and the government came out with initiatives in its efforts to support the speedy determination of justice.

The AGF said: “The doctrine of separation of powers has three implications:

a. that the same person should not be part of more than one of the arms or division of government;

b. that one branch should not dominate or control another arm. This is particularly important in the relationship between (the) executive and the courts;

c. that one branch should not attempt to exercise the function of the other…”

The minister added that in view of the crucial role of the judiciary as an essential element of a democratic system, the Federal Government gives attention to the budgetary provisions of the Judiciary in addition to welfare packages meant to enhance their operations.

CJN To Malami: Judiciary Can’t Be Blamed For Delay In High-Profile Cases

A file photo of the CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad.

 

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, on Tuesday, absolved the judiciary of delay in the handling of high-profile corruption cases.

Justice Muhammad’s comments followed an accusation by the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, that judges were still delaying timeous hearing and determination of such cases, particularly concerning Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).

Malami had during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday, blamed the judiciary for the protracted trial of high-profile corruption cases.

But barely 24 hours, the CJN said Malami’s criticism of the judiciary for the delays suffered in court by high-profile corruption cases, was one-sided.

READ ALSO: Petrol Supply With Excess Methanol Cause Of Fuel Scarcity, Says FG

“The position of the Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) that the judiciary be held responsible for delays in the trial and delivery of judgements on corruption cases involving politically exposed individuals appears to be one-sided,” the statement by the CJN’s spokesperson, Ahuraka Isah, read.

The CJN explained that the lapses on the part of the executive arm of government contributed to the delays in cases.

According to him, the constitutional responsibility of the judiciary does not involve crime detection and investigation, while referencing the serial disregard of court orders by the executive.

This is even as he stated that the judiciary does not have “a garrison command to fight its cause or enforce its orders and decisions.”

“The Judiciary has an internal mechanism for budget control and implementation. The judiciary defends its budget before the senate and the House of Representatives Committees on Judiciary at the National Assembly, besides the initial vetting by the executive.

“The judiciary has an internal mechanism for budget control and implementation. Each Court and judicial body has a budget unit, the account department, internal audit, Due Process Unit, as well as Departmental Tenders Board.

“There is also a Due Process Committee at the NJC (National Judicial Council) and the Judicial Tenders Board that award contracts on expenditure above the approval limit of the accounting officers of the Courts and judicial bodies.

“These layers of control were established by the Judiciary to ensure transparency, accountability and effective budget implementation. The type of transparency that the Federal Government has stressed,” the CJN added.

The Law Will Take Its Course In Kanu, Igboho’s Cases – Nigerian Govt

 

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, on Monday said the law will take its course in the cases involving separatist leaders Sunday Adeyemo popularly called Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu.

While Igboho, a campaigner for Yoruba self-determination was arrested in July last year in the Benin Republic and faces trial, Kanu, who is the leader of the outlawed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), is being prosecuted by the Federal Government.

But speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Malami said the Federal Government will not interfere in Igboho’s travails in the Benin Republic.

“It is a matter being prosecuted at a foreign country and within the context of that prosecution, one thing that is visible is that he has been taken into custody on account of breaching the laws applicable in a foreign nation. With that in mind, he is being prosecuted,” he said during the show.

“We will allow the law of the nation that was indeed breached to take its natural course and perhaps, maybe thereafter bringing him back home after the conclusion of the trial over there for the purpose of facing the Nigerian law that was accordingly breached.

“The position of things is that we are not interfering in aborting the existing prosecution in the foreign land, taking into consideration that the laws that were alleged to have been breached were indeed the laws of a foreign nation.”

READ ALSO: Trial Of Nnamdi Kanu’s Co-Defendants: Court Fines AGF Malami N200,000

A photo combination of Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Igboho.

 

When asked if the Muhammadu Buhari administration was considering a political solution to free both separatist leaders, the Minister neither confirmed nor denied it. Rather, he said the Federal Government may consider the possibility of a political solution for Igboho after the conclusion of his prosecution in the Benin Republic.

While explaining that there are a lot of possibilities in terms of prosecution, he, however, kept mute on Kanu’s travails.

“Maybe those considerations may be considered or brought to bear when he is eventually brought back after the conclusion of the trial at the foreign nation.

“In terms of prosecution, you cannot rule out any possibility. In terms of prosecution, the laws of the land naturally take their natural course. In our laws, there are a lot of possibilities. One thing I can tell you as it is now, the law is taking its natural course.”

The minister also spoke about efforts made by the current administration in fighting corruption in the country.

He faulted the report by Transparency International that scored Nigeria 24 out of 100 points in the 2021 index, placing the nation as the second most corrupt country in West Africa, after Guinea.

In the 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index released by Transparency International on January 25, Nigeria dropped five places, despite the Federal Government’s avowed fight against graft.

But Malami, who is the chief legal officer, described the rating as baseless, insisting that Buhari’s government has done well.

Be Transparent In Utilisation Of Budgetary Allocation, Malami Tells Judiciary

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.
File photo: Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami

 

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has asked the judiciary to be transparent and accountable in the spending of the funds allocated to it in its annual budgets.

Speaking on Tuesday at the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Justice Sector Summit 2022 in Abuja, Malami said there was the need for the judiciary sector to “open its own book” the same way and manner the legislature and executive subject themselves for scrutiny.

READ ALSO: Police Arraign Suspected Cannibal, Fake Lawyer In Zamfara

He urged the judiciary to live up to its responsibility and support initiatives that will bring the desired result in the administration of justice in the country.

The Justice Minister also spoke on the appointment of the judges, saying the extant Nigerian laws made the criteria for such appointment very clear.

He said to enhance the quality of the system, there has to be accommodation of merits for consideration as the basis for appointment.

EFCC Commences Investigation Into Tape Alleging Malami Influences Corruption Cases

File photo of the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has commenced an investigation into a trending audio tape alleging that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, influences corruption cases.

In the tape, an operative of the anti-graft agency, Mohammed Idris, accused the justice minister of compromising graft cases.

“Malami now controls the EFCC. The commission is in his hands. Once Malami speaks, the account will be unfrozen. They are unfreezing suspects’ accounts, including the big cases,” EFCC operative was heard saying in one of the multiple audio recordings obtained by Daily Nigerian.

But the EFCC in a statement on its verified Facebook page on Thursday said it would activate its internal mechanism to deal with the issues arising therefrom.

READ ALSO: EFCC Boss Continues Testimony In Alleged N1.4bn Oil Fraud Case

“Without prejudice to the outcome of the investigation, snippets of the audio recording clearly showed an abysmally compromised officer dropping names to ingratiate his benefactor, a relative of a crime suspect,” the statement read.

“By the alleged action, the said officer is no more than a corrupt fifth columnist with scant regard for the values of the commission.

“The action is contemptuous of the established Standard Operating Procedure of the EFCC. Such professional indiscretion has no place in the new EFCC.

“The commission encourages citizens who encounter any such unprofessional conduct by personnel of the EFCC to report to the commission in support of our quest to build a better agency.”

“Reporting such conducts has been made easy by the Eagle Eye App, a financial crime reporting application which was launched earlier in the year,” Uwujaren further stated.

According to the EFCC, its operations were guided by established professional precepts “which do not support the kind of discretion that could allow for manipulation by external actors.”