Campaign of Calumny Against Malami Unjustifiable
By Yakubu Shendam
INFOMEDIA – The fight against financial corruption and money laundering in Nigeria has come along way. President Buhari made it the number one priority of his administration to fight and eliminate corruption because of the multiplier negative effect it has on the the country and its citizens both at home and in the diaspora. Difficult as this fight is, there has been some noticeable progress over the two decades of civilian rule. One of the daunting challenges faced by the anti- corruption fight is ‘corruption fighting back’. Simply put, a situation where corrupt persons use all they have including their political muscles to twist the hands of justice in their favour thereby escaping prosecution and forfeiture of stolen property. Nigeria has had 4 anti-corruption czars, all of them senior police personnel with supposedly high credentials and experience in investigation and financial crimes but we are almost where we started.
Recent events in the Nigerian political space have exposed the level of rot going on in the fight against corruption as championed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) under the leadership of Ibrahim Magu. Instead of playing the role of a guard and custodian of public funds stolen and recovered, he has constituted himself into a national nuisance and allegely stolen from the very purse he has been given for safekeeping. He has proven to be a bad dog that can’t keep a bone safe for the owner. This could have gone unnoticed except for the timely intervention of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
Instead of receiving accolades and praises for a job well done, certain unpatriotic and mischievous elements took to cheap blackmail and defamation of the stainless integrity of the person of Abubakar Malami whose stewardship to the nation, his community and family is exemplary and top notch.
Notable of mention here without mincing words is an online newspaper by Name Sahara Reporters, whose publisher is Omoyele Sowore. Of all people, Omoyele Sowore, an erstwhile presidential aspirant is least qualified to cast aspersions on the person of the Attorney General whose track record of integrity is impeccable. This is nothing but blackmail and an attempt to fight back against the number one law agent of the country for personal gains.
Recall that Sowore is facing a treasonable felony case against the federal government for his activities which undermined national security and were tantamount to a coup de’tal aimed at taking over power from a duly elected president. Since Malami is in charge of the case as the chief law officer, Sowore thinks he can hit at the personality of the Minister and discredit him in
the eyes of Nigerians and play victim. This is indeed a cheap diversionary measure and it won’t work.
By teaming up with the fallen Magu, Sowore who has a case to answer hopes to paint the government bad by churning up fictitious lies to make Malami look bad and unfit to dispense the duties of his office in the eyes of the public. This he feels will lead to Malami’s exit and his freedom from prosecution but that again won’t work either.
Contrary to allegations of a sudden lavish life of Malami and his family after his appointment as Minister in 2015 by the Buhari administration, it’s pertinent to note here that Abubakar Malami was an accomplished legal practitioner who rose to the rank of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and as such could afford a decent living for himself and his family. Every sane person with a discerning mind knows that a SAN is highly paid and sought after, therefore, somebody like Malami does not need public funds to enjoy his life
The exaggerations and distortions inherent in the accusations is mind boggling. For instance, why will the minister need so many private jets to fly guest to Kebbi for a wedding when he’s aware of the social distancing and the Covid 19 protocols laid down by the federal government? Why will he choose to endanger the lives of his family members and friends? Granted, a private jet in the presidential fleet was used to transport guest to the wedding but from the pictures posted by Sahara Reporters, there were less than 10 people in the pictures. For the sake of emphasis, a private jet was used to transport few guests and not jets as purported by Sahara Reporters. Again, the jet was not chartered, it was generously released by the federal government as a show of goodwill
Another unfounded allegation leveled against the minister is his involvement in the auctioning of seized crude oil and sundry corruption cases. However vexed Sowore and his sponsors might feel, the decisions taken by the minister are in the best interest of the nation and are only taken after careful deliberations and advise from bright legal minds in the ministry of justice with the approval of the president.
While Sowore is finding it difficult to quash the cases against him for his treacherous behaviour, it’ll do him a lot of good to verify his facts before taking a camera round the whole of northern Nigeria for a video shot of choice properties with a false claim that they belong to Abubakar Malami and his family and where acquired while he held office without proof of ownership and think right thinking Nigerians will buy his vituperations.
The question everybody should ask Sowore is: why didn’t he profile Abubakar Malami’s corruption long time ago to show how neutral and patriotic he can be? Why wait until he exposed Magu before coming out with campaign of calumny?
Yakubu Shendam, a former President of National Youth Council of Nigeria, writes from Abuja.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of INFOMEDIA