Nigeria’s Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has been accused of instigating the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission against the Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano.
The Anambra State government alleged that Malami is the one pushing the EFCC to go after Obiano for political reasons.
The Anambra State Commissioner for Information, Don Adinuba made the allegation on Thursday evening during a TV interview.
Recall that the EFCC had reportedly placed the Anambra State Governor, Obiano on a watchlist, directing the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to keep an eye on him ahead of the expiration of his tenure.
In a letter to the Comptroller General of the service dated November 15, 2021, the EFCC says it decided to place Obiano on the watchlist in order to prevent him from travelling out of the country.
The anti-graft agency asked the Service to inform it anytime Obiano is travelling out of the country from any of the international airports, as well as other points of entry and exit.
In an immediate reaction, the Anambra State government through the Information Commissioner berated the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly leaking that it has placed Governor Willie Obiano on a watchlist.
In a statement to newsmen the Anambra Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C. Don Adinuba, accused disgruntled politicians of using the anti-graft agency to attack Obiano.
Adinuba stated that it has not been a secret that Governor Obiano has always revealed that he would leave Nigeria for his base in the United States at the expiration of his tenure.
Speaking further on the matter, Adinuba has now specifically fingered AGF Malami as the individual sponsoring the EFCC against Malami as a form of political vengeance.
He questioned why Malami who occupies an office that is expected to be totally politically neutral will be a member of the Andy Uba governorship campaign council of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the recently concluded Anambra election.
“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,” he told Channels Television on Thursday evening.
“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.”
Challenged during the programme to back up his allegation against the Minister with evidence, the Commissioner said Malami’s membership of the Uba gubernatorial campaign team is not only absurd, but unprecedented for such office.
In his words: “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.
“In the case of Nigeria, the AGF is not expected to get involved in politics even though everybody knows that he is typically a member of the ruling party.”