The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership (CACOL) has called for the probe of Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), for allegedly stalling the recovery of Nigeria’s $60billion in the United States.
The Chairman, Debo Adeniran, in a statement cited the revelation by the Prosecutor, Special Presidential Panel on Asset Recovery (SPPAR), Tosin Ojaomo.
Ojaomo had said the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) allegedly stashed $60billion of public funds in America.
He said, while speaking before the House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee on the Probe of Recovered Looted Funds and Assets of Government, that efforts by the panel to recover the funds were frustrated by Malami.
Ojaomo disclosed that Malami retrieved the case file from the body.
CACOL noted that a situation whereby the Chief Law Officer of the country is being accused of working against its interests, after vowing 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,” Adeniran said.
CACOL recalled that along with some other non-governmental organizations, a letter was sent to President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure accountability in the investigations at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and the recovered stolen assets in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The letter urged Buhari to probe Malami’s 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”.
Several allegations of corruption and abuse of office against the AGF were detailed in the petition.
“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,” the petition added.
CACOL expressed hope that the recent revelation by Ojaomo will not be swept under the carpet like other ones in the past.
The body called on anti-graft agencies to look into the allegation against Malami and the NNPC and take necessary steps to prosecute the minister if found culpable.