Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) has written to President Muhammadu Buhari, refuting claims that he is corrupt and has embezzled public funds.
Malami in the letter, listed the sources of his income before he became a minister and how he came about them, claiming that he is not corrupt and has never taken a dime from the public.
The minister’s letter was in reaction to a demand by a group, Kanuri Collective Agenda, calling on President Buhari to sack the AGF over allegations of corruption and insubordination levelled against the former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu.
Magu and Malami have had repeated disagreements on the anti-corruption war and many Nigerians, including a member of a presidential adviser on anti-corruption, Femi Odekunle, believe with Malami.
Magu has denied any wrongdoing, while the presidency has said investigation was a sign there was no sacred cow in President Buhari’s anti-corruption fight.
The minister, in his letter reacting to the group’s petition against him, drew the president’s attention to the fact that he filed his assets declaration with the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) in 2015 when he was first appointed minister and also did same in July last year upon his re-appointment into the same position in his government.
He said, “I have taken a personal decision to seek remedy from the court as a result of the series of derogatory contents so published against me. In the same vein, I have written the Inspector General of Police to investigate the matter.”
“I, nonetheless, felt it is imperative to write Your Excellency on the subject above. This is because the crux of their campaign is to falsely portray me as a corrupt officer who used public office to acquire wealth and build an empire.
“It is to be noted that apart from my successful legal practice of more than 20 years, seven of which were as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, before my appointment, I have as allowed by law had interests in business ventures, all of which I had resigned from active participation upon my appointment.
“Among other things, I owned lucrative business ventures of Rayhaan Hotels and Rayhaan Food & Drinks, both in Kano, since December 13, 2013, years before the 2015 election that saw to the victory of President Muhamadu Buhari as the President and long before I was appointed to be a Minister in the first term.
“That informs why those items were included among 27 property listed in the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) Form filled by Malami when he was first appointed a minister.
“Hence, earnings from mainly the hotels, restaurants, farms are used to either improve these ventures or to expand and build new ones. In all these, the requirement of the law is that I declare at the point of exit from office as I have declared at the point of entry,” he explained.
The minister also attached the Code of Conduct Bureau forms he filled, the statement of accounts of all the businesses he owned regarding the turnover, covering the period of his appointment to date, the report added.