Friends and associates of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), donated exotic vehicles of assorted brands to loyalists in Kebbi State, his spokesperson, Umar Gwandu, has said.
The donation which included Toyota Prado, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz vehicles has sparked varied reactions on social media, especially following Malami’s recent declaration to contest the Kebbi governorship election.
The minister had, on April 28, announced his intention to contest the Kebbi governorship election in 2023 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
In his statement, Gwandu said, “It is abundantly clear that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has teaming supporters from home and beyond.
“This has been demonstrated not only by the calls from far and near for him to vie for Kebbi gubernatorial seat in the forthcoming election but also by donations from friends, associates and supporters of N135m.
“The recent donation of N135m has opened doors for donations and supports of many items including vehicles by well-wishers.
“The story attributing vehicle distribution to Malami was mischievous and misconstrued information. It was friends and associates of Malami who donated and distributed vehicles to long term workers in the Khadimiyya Foundation.
“The occasion was not for distribution of vehicles to any APC stakeholder. None of the APC stakeholders or delegates in Kebbi State was given any vehicle by Malami.
“You can contact the National Secretariat of the APC, get the lists of all the APC stakeholders and delegates in Kebbi State. Do an investigative story to reach out to them then you realised how fictitious is the claim.
“Comparing the names of APC stakeholders and the beneficiaries of the vehicle will reveal to you that there is no connection between the two and the two are not connected whatsoever.”
In 2020, a series of detailed investigations carried out by SaharaReporters showed that Malami had acquired several properties whose value run into many billions of naira since being appointed into the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria’s chief law officer.
For example, the AGF has an underground hotel in Sokoto, three houses at Peace Estate, Abuja, a brand-new state-of-the-art school in Kebbi, two houses for his sons worth N100 million each and a new hotel under construction in the Jabi area of Abuja.
Malami also bought a house this year worth N150 million in the Gwarimpa area of Abuja.
The newly constructed school is located at the back of NITEL in Gesse Phase 1, Birnin Kebbi, while a new house worth N600m on Ahmadu Bello Way, Nasarawa GRA, Kano, are among properties acquired by Malami since he became a minister under President Buhari.
The houses he built for his sons in Kebbi are 200 metres apart in a posh part of the city.
That is not all. Malami also built N3 billion multipurpose event centre in Kebbi State named Azbir Arena for his son in Kebbi.
The facility is said to be an entertainment centre with a plaza and kids’ playing section and an ongoing hotel, all in one place.
This is apart from Rayhaan Hotel located on Zaria Road, opposite Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, which the AGF massively upgraded using proceeds of corruption.
Ever since SaharaReporters published a series of detailed reports exposing these illicit acquisitions, the online news medium has been a target for the AGF’s camp.
Apart from falsely claiming to have sued SaharaReporters over the expository reports he said had damaged his reputation before the world, Malami also issued a petition to the former Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on the issue to arrest the publisher of the online newspaper, Omoyele Sowore.
Despite the open display of unexplained wealth by the AGF and members of his family, President Muhammadu Buhari, who rode to power in 2015 on the back of a promise to crush corruption, especially in the government circle, has yet to offer any statement on the development.
Observers say Buhari’s silence is an endorsement of the atrocities of one of his most trusted lieutenants, Malami.