A northern Nigerian group, Kanuri Collective Agenda (KCA), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to sack the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami for attempting to drag the reputation of the acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu in the mud.
According to media reports, Malami had written Buhari recommending the sack of Magu based on several grounds “raging from diversion of recovered loot to insubordination and misconduct”.
Malami was also said to have included a short list of three candidates for consideration to replace Magu.
The justice minister also accused the EFCC boss of disclosing a total naira recovery of N504 billion.
But a close associate of the EFCC boss reportedly said that he actually lodged N543 billion in the Recovery Account with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), exceeding the disclosed figures by N39 billion.
Reacting to the allegation against Magu, KCA, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Malam Waziri Ibrahim, the group told Buhari that Malami’s allegation will make mockery of the administration’s anti-corruption war and expose his administration to ridicule.
“By making such weighty allegation against Magu, the justice minister has only succeeded in telling the opposition and the international community that Buhari’s anti-corruption war is a farce because the champion of the anti-graft war is corruption-personified. The allegation also implies that Mr. President is running a very corrupt administration.
“Magu’s anti-corruption war has earned national and international accolades for this administration, which Malami has rubbished with his memo to Mr. President. Malami has provided the opposition with enough weapons to attack Mr. President and his administration.
Indeed, even the opposition could not have made such damning allegation against Magu because no one could have believed them in view of his unblemished records. But when such allegation is coming from a key member of the administration who is believed to have insider knowledge of the key actors in government, the public may be inclined to believing such allegation.
So, Malami has provided the opposition parties with weapons to rubbish Buhari’s anti-corruption war and take his administration to the cleaners,” the group explained.
The group urged Buhari to sack Malami before he causes further damage to his administration.
“If Malami is so disgruntled with President Buhari’s administration, it will be more honourable for him to resign rather than engaging in media attacks on the reputation of the entire administration,” the group added.
The Maiduguri-based group alleged that since the demise of the former Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari, the justice minister has capitalised on his unhindered access to President Buhari to mislead the president on critical issues affecting Nigeria’s political and business environments.
The group alleged that since the demise of Kyari in May, the justice minister has been “bombarding the office of Mr. President with so-called legal opinions and letters, most of which advance his personal interests and settle personal scores.
KCA further alleged that the letter by Malami asking the President to fire Magu was one of such letters and opinions meant to settle scores and advance his interest in this present administration.
“In business disputes, he offers unsolicited opinions as if he is a court of law. Now, he feels that sacking Magu will make him the most powerful official in Buhari’s cabinet,” the group said.
According to the KCA, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had already taken advantage of the situation by alleging at the weekend that Malami’s memo to the president has further exposed the corruption, deception and hypocrisy the party said pervade the Buhari-led government.
KCA quoted the main opposition party as saying that it is the worst national embarrassment in the history of Nigeria, that the head of anti-corruption agency in an administration that prides itself on zero tolerance for corruption, “is being dragged on allegation of diversion of recovered funds and fraudulent sale of assets seized by the agency.”