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MALAMI: Why I stopped Goje’s N25bn fraud case

Nigerian govt renews bid to remove Saraki as AGF asks court to hands off suit

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has said that the claim that his office had never prosecuted any corruption case was not totally true.

He also explained that the reason he decided to withdraw Senator Danjuma Goje’s N25 billion fraud case was because the case the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) leveled against him was weak.

Recall that Transparency International (TI), in its low corruption index ranking of Nigeria made reference to the case of Goje that was withdrawn by the AGF.

TI, had also, alleged that Malami’s office was yet to prosecute any corruption cases since he was appointed into that office.

But the AGF, in a statement by his spokesman, Dr Umar Gwandu, signed and made available to newsmen, said he had the constitutional right to withdraw any criminal case any time.

“As to the allegation of withdrawal of the corruption case of N25bn against former Gombe State Governor, Senator Danjuma Goje; the first point of correction is that the AGF did not withdraw a N25bn case.

“The EFCC had filed a 21 charges of N8bn against Senator Goje and had been prosecuting same for over eight years without the AGF’s interference but after a no case submission filed by Senator Goje, 19 of the 21 counts making up the N8bn were struck out by the court leaving only two counts bordering on the manner in which the sale of some old buses belonging to Gombe State Transport Company between 2003 and 2011 were handled under the watch of Senator Goje.

“It was the said last two counts that the AGF thoroughly reviewed in 2019 and having found no prima facie case, withdrew in exercise of his constitutional power pursuant to Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution,” the statement read in part.

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On the allegation of none prosecution of any case, the AGF said, since he is the chief law officer of the country, that the credit for cases prosecuted by all anti-graft agencies could be ascribed to him.

Goje, a former governor of Gombe, had his corruption case withdrawn after he resigned his ambition to contest as president of the 9th Senate.

Many had expected the Federal Government to allow the court decide the merit or demerit of the case.

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