The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), yesterday condemned the recent statement by the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Professor Itse Sagay, that the AGF would not allow the newly appointed Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa succeed on account of being a “powerful politician” that will interfere in Bawa’s work.
Reacting to the report credited to Sagay, the minister descended heavily on the senior lawyer, describing the professor as “a confused old man whose vision is beclouded by speculations and guess works”.
Malami, in statement issued by his media aide, Dr. Umar Gwandu stated that he has been known to be supportive of government agencies and parastatals under the Ministry of Justice, devoid of any undue interferences, so as to enable them achieve greater success.
He stressed that he was never identified as meddling into or interfering into affairs of any agency under the Ministry of Justice.
According to him, agencies and parastatals under the supervision of his ministry have been carrying out the legitimate functions and constitutional roles diligently and recording huge success due to his support.
According to Malami, agencies under him such as the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Legal Aid Council of Nigeria, among others have been recording tremendous success with greater vigour and commitment.
He added that in the exercise of his constitutionally recognised mandate, he is always guided by extant laws in supervising agencies under his control, adding that on no account was there any case of interference and excessive meddling.
“The submissions of Sagay are marred by conflicting statements and confused speculations.
“The highest of confusion is demonstrated by compounding and conflict statements coming at once from an individual.
“It was the same man who in the same report was quoted as showing great optimism with the appointment of the new EFCC chairman also becoming pessimist for a speculative future”.
Malami quoted Sagay as saying in the same report that “so, inasmuch as the removal of Magu to me looks unsatisfactory, we have to move on and if he (Bawa) is as good as his credentials indicate, then I think the future looks promising for the EFCC.”
“Hence, there was nothing to worry about the new leadership of the EFCC which many Nigerians hail, unless if the old man has skeletons in his cupboard,” Malami noted.
“We advise the old man not to start having a hallucinated, mixed-up and confused vision of a prognostic future envisaged by his sentiments. Let Sagay make less noise but allow the young man discharge his duties with vigour and vibrancy.
“Nigerians will be happy if the old man would come out publicly to explain reasons why he is jittery over the development, which has been praised and commended by Nigerians,” the statement added.