Illegal Sale of Seized Assets: Malami denies involvement, okays probe

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri – Abuja

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, has denied knowledge of his involvement in the alleged illegal sale of assets forfeited to the Federal Government.

Malami, in a statement that was signed by his media aide, Dr Umar Gwandu, said his attention was drawn to a media report alleging that a syndicate from the Federal Ministry of Justice, is already secretly selling off some of the properties that were recovered by FG.

Insisting that his office has not officially started the sale of the forfeited properties, the AGF, said he has set up a 5-member committee to investigate and ascertain the factuality of the media report.

He said the committee which would be chaired by the Director Public Prosecution of the Federation, was inaugurated on Tuesday, with a mandate to submit its investigative report to the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, within one week.

Malami, therefore, urged members of the public, especially those that interacted with the alleged syndicate group, or have information or posses any evidence, to furnish such details to the probe Committee.

The statement, read: “The attention of the office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, SAN has been drawn to a media report which allegedly claims that a syndicate allegedly from the Ministry sells Federal Government’s recovered properties without the knowledge of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

“It is important to set the record straight that the office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has not officially started the sale of Federal Government’s property.

“The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, SAN did not approve and was not aware of and did not order the sale of any of such properties.

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“To this end, the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami, SAN has set up a 5-member Committee to investigate and verify the authenticity of the media report which allegedly claims that syndicate from the Federal Ministry of Justice sells Federal Government’s recovered properties without the knowledge of the office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

“The composition of the members of the committee was made known in a circular signed by the Solicitor General of the Federation U. E. Mohammed, ESQ dated 29th November 2021.

“The circular was titled ‘The Constitution of a Committee to investigate the alleged sale of Federal Government of Nigeria’s Property by syndicate in the Ministry’.

‘A committee is hereby constituted to investigate the allegation with the view to unravelling the veracity or otherwise of the Publication’ the circular reads in part.

“The Committee Chaired by the Director Public Prosecution of the Federation which was inaugurated on Tuesday was saddled with the responsibility and task of unveiling the factuality and accuracy of the publication and recommends ways of handling the matter in accordance with the provisions of the extant laws.

“According to the circular, the committee was expected to complete the assignment within a period of one week and submit the report of their investigation to the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice.

“Malami, therefore, called on members of the general public especially those who interacted with the alleged syndicate group or have information or posses any evidence to open up and provide information that could be helpful to committee in discharging its responsibility.

“Individuals, groups, companies, institutions or organizations that claimed to have associated with the alleged syndicate from the Federal Ministry of Justice in relation to purchase of houses, landed property, vehicles, vessels, plants and pieces of machinery belonging to the Federal Government are encouraged to come out with any information, evidence or document regarding the alleged sales”.

According to the statement, the Secretariat of the Investigation Committee can be contacted at the Office of the Director Public Prosecution of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Justice and be reached within one week from December 1, or via email: investigation.committee@justice.gov.ng.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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