STALLING OF $60BN STOLEN FUNDS RECOVERY: CACOL CALLS FOR PROBE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION (AGF)
The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has called for the probe of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami for his alleged stalling of the recovery of $60bn stashed in the United States.
In a release issued by CACOL and signed by Tola Oresanwo, the anti-corruption organization’s Director, Administration and Programmes on behalf of its Chairman, Mr. Debo Adeniran, he stated, “The allegation made by The Prosecutor, Special Presidential Panel on Asset Recovery (SPPAR), Tosin Ojaomo, of how the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) allegedly stashed $60 billion of public funds in the United States and how the efforts by the panel to recover the funds were reportedly frustrated by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, is quite revealing.
Ojaomo, made the revelation while appearing before the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on the Probe of Recovered Looted Funds and Assets of Government. The Prosecutor, made stunning revelations of how the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) allegedly stashed $60 billion of public funds in the United States. He lamented that efforts by the panel to recover the funds were reportedly frustrated by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, whom he claimed retrieved the case file from the body.
The CACOL Boss opined that, “A situation whereby the person who is supposed to be the Chief Law Officer of the country is being accused of working against the interest of the same country he vowed to protect its constitution is disheartening. The fact that a Minister of Justice can easily subvert the course of justice by manipulating the agencies under his Ministry is not encouraging in a democratic dispensation like ours”.
“It would be recalled that CACOL with some other non-governmental organizations working on issues of transparency and accountability in Nigeria wrote Mr. president in August, 2020 to request him to use his good offices and leadership to urgently ensure accountability in the corruption and mismanagement investigations at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), and the allegations of mismanagement of recovered stolen assets in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). In that letter it was expressly stated that Mr. President should “Consider immediate investigation of the role of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Malami, in the fight against corruption, particularly his role in the alleged nolle prosequi entered in many high-profile corruption cases, alleged obstruction of requests for assistance in corruption investigation from international partners, alleged sale of forfeited oil vessel by the AGF through suspects under trial and his role in the alleged payment of the suspicious legal fees for the return of $321million to Nigeria by the Swiss government”.
Also, in a petition to the President by Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) of which CACOL is an active member, titled CALL TO ACTION – COMPILATION OF CORRUPTION ALLEGATIONS AND ABUSE OF OFFICE AGAINST THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION AND MINISTER OF JUSTICE – MR. ABUBAKAR MALAMI (SAN), several allegations of corruption and abuse of office against the current Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami.(SAN) were detailed in that petition.
The Head of the Centre, Mr. Debo Adeniran, further stated that, “Just as been noted elsewhere, in discharging their responsibilities to the people, any governmental official, whether at the legislative, judiciary or Executive arm, would do well to adhere to international best practices and Nigerian 1999 constitution (as amended) which in no small measure sets clear ethical standards that must guide our public office holders, in discharging their responsibilities to the people. We want to believe that the recent revelation by The Prosecutor, Special Presidential Panel on Asset Recovery (SPPAR), Tosin Ojaomo, will not be swept under the carpet like other ones in the past. We call on the various anti-graft agencies to look into this allegation and take necessary steps to prosecute the minister if found wanton”
Director, Administration and Programmes, CACOL