Sunday, September 20, 2020

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I am not corrupt as alleged, Malami tells Buhari

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Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), has told President Muhammadu Buhari that political maneuvering towards the 2023 election informed the allegations of corruption against him.

In a memo to President Buhari, the AGF attached documentary evidence that the properties on which his traducers based their allegations were deposed to in his asset declarations to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).

A coalition of civil society organisations had petitioned Buhari against Malami, asking that the minister should step down from office in view of online reports of alleged massive acquisition of expensive properties likely to be proceeds of corrupt enrichment.

But in the AGF’s memo dated August 7, 2020, he declared that the petitioners are on a futile expedition, even as he detailed his earnings, including salaries, allowances, estacodes and sundry income and benefits of businesses he received since his appointment as minister from 2015 till date.

“Since my appointment as a minister in your cabinet, I have conducted myself strictly within the confines of the code of conduct for public officers contained in Part 1 of the Fifth Schedule of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended,” he told Buhari.

Malami disclosed that apart from a successful legal practice of more than 20 years, seven of which were as a senior advocate of Nigeria, he had interests in business ventures allowed by law before withdrawing active participation upon his appointment.

The minister disclosed, for instance, that he established Rayhaan Hotels, Rayhaan Food and Drinks both in Kano State, since December 13, 2013, years before the 2015 election and long before his appointment as minister in Buhari’s first term.

Malami added that with the dissolution of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Working Committee (NWC), those who lost out in the power tussle launched media attacks against his office and the present administration.

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