By Ocherome Nnanna
It took Muhammadu Buhari about five months in 2015 to send his ministerial nominees to the Senate. Among the lawyers he sent to the Senate were Babatunde Fashola, James Ocholi (late), Abubakar Malami and others.
Malami was a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, like Fashola, but unlike Fashola whose brilliance and oratory held the senators and the listening nation spellbound, Malami’s grammar was horrible. He sweated and was incoherent throughout his screening.
If our senators screened candidates as they do in the United States Senate, Malami should have been dropped. Our senators screen with a view to getting noticed by the nominees for future corrupt deals, not fitness for office!
At the end, it was Malami that Buhari chose to occupy the only ministerial office empowered with direct constitutional mandates: The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice. Over the past six years plus, Malami has confirmed our fears about his ability to serve as the Chief Law Officer of the Federation.
Since he took over the case of kidnap kingpin of Taraba State, Bala Hamisu (Wadume), can Malami tell the nation what has happened to Captain Tijjani Balarabe, the rogue soldier who ordered the massacre of the Inspector General of Police’s Intelligence Response Team, IRT, on August 6, 2019?
The IGP’s crack investigators were murdered in cold blood for arresting Wadume, a facilitator of herdsmen terrorism in Taraba and environs.
When the presiding Judge of the case, Justice Binta Murtala Nyako, insisted that Captain Balarabe must be produced in court to answer to murder charges against him, Malami suddenly took over the case.
The constitution empowers the Attorney General to take over cases in the public interest. What public interest has Malami pursued in taking over that case? Has justice been served? Or has he “died” the case, as we say in Nigeria? Have those gallant policemen gruesomely murdered while on national assignment died in vain? Did Malami choose to shield their killers?
The AGF, having taken over such a case of huge public interest, owes the nation a duty to periodically inform us of what he is doing in pursuit of justice for those officers. What effort is he making to serve justice to Captain Balarabe, Wadume and the rest of the crime syndicate?
All we hear from Malami is a deafening silence.
The main issue that convinced me without a shadow of doubt that Malami is a viral pox in public office is his recent “investigative report” on activities of separatist leaders, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and Chief Sunday Igboho. Without any shred of credible evidence, he blamed MNK and his group, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, and its vigilante arm, the Eastern Security Network, ESN, for the violent attacks in Lagos after the #EndSARS protest last year.
That protest was well-organised and peaceful. But because the government deployed thugs and the military to quell it, it degenerated into violence. What further inflamed the orgy of looting and arson on government offices, homes of some politicians and even private businesses was the discovery of warehouses where palliatives meant for the common people forced into lockdown by the government were “hidden”.
The looting took place all over the country, but Lagos took the heaviest brunt of it. I have lived in Lagos for over 30 years. I know this city’s reflexes in times of peace and turmoil. No group from outside the South West can perpetrate the level of post-#EndSARS violent attacks on public and private property in Lagos if the owners of the land are not at the spearhead of it.
The indigenous grassroots of Lagos/South West seized the opportunity of that unfortunate breakdown of order to show their pent-up anger at the “bullion van” Lagos political establishment that left them behind.
All the young whippers-nappers arrested and named over the vandalisation, desecration and looting of the Oba of Lagos’ palace were indigenous to the South West. Not one of them came from other zones, let alone the South East.
Admittedly, Nnamdi Kanu made a number of overreaching broadcasts initially urging his IPOB followers in Lagos to “join the revolution”. His objective was to capitalise on the #EndSARS protests to jumpstart a revolution to achieve his objective of liquidating Nigeria for indigenous people to have their independence.
Luckily, he responded positively to wise advice from his kinsmen and even friends from the South West, including Chief Dele Momodu, not to extend his Biafra activities outside the South East as this would backfire on the Igbo people.
From that moment, IPOB’s activities disappeared outside Igboland. Today, it is mainly a South East affair with sporadic pulses in parts of the South-South.
Malami’s so-called “investigative report” is merely a concatenation of narratives maliciously manufactured by the Federal Government in its hate-fed war against the Igbo nation.
It drew from the failed attempt by a section of the Lagos political cabal to implicate the Igbo people in the riots which also led to loss of billions to Igbo businesses in Lagos.
Their plan was to spark ethnic war between Igbo and Yoruba in Lagos. It failed because Yoruba people knew the truth about mayhem. They also know that Igbo people have no track record of attacking their hosts.
Abubakar Malami and his fellow merchants of Igbo hatred in the Buhari regime are not fit for public office because they derive manic pleasure in seeing the Igbo and Yoruba spilling blood.
Even if their so-called investigations were true, there is a matured, civilised way a responsible government would communicate it to the public after the culprits must have been apprehended, exposed and put on trial. Where is Malami’s proof of his allegations? Thank God 2023 is around the corner. It will be good riddance!