Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has threatened to sue SaharaReporters within seven days if the online news publication failed to retract stories published on him on July 10, 11 and 12, 2020.
In a statement by his spokesperson, Umar Gwandu, on Monday, Malami said that publications by SaharaReporters on each of the dates mentioned had caused him trauma and damaged his reputation before right-thinking persons across the world.
The statement reads partly, “Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, vowed to take legal action against Sahara Reporters on account of defamatory publications made against him.
“Malami said, the consequence of the criminal defamation published by Sahara Reporters, has subjected him to considerable distress, psychological trauma, anxiety and greatly injured his character and reputation, which is capable of lowering his estimation in the eyes of right-thinking persons in the society.
“He said since the 10th of July 2020 when the defamatory articles was first published, he has been receiving several telephone calls and visits from well-meaning Nigerians, his friends, well-wishers and associates from all over the world including those he has dealt with/still dealing with in his official capacity as Nigeria’s chief law officer, many of whom have expressed serious concerns over the publication.
“Malami gave the medium a seven-day ultimatum to retract all the libellous and criminally defamatory publications against him and issue a public apology to be published on the platform and on the front pages of three national newspapers for three consecutive days.
“A senior lawyer has already been briefed to deal with the matter as may be appropriate, in the event of failure to retract the publication in question and offer the requested apology within the stipulated time.”
Curiously, despite the threat to sue SaharaReporters for the said publications, Malami failed to disclose the particular stories he was referring to and or address critical issues raised in each one.
In a series of text and photo stories in recent days, SaharaReporters had exposed how Malami, who was a little known lawyer before being appointed into the government of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, had maintained an opulent lifestyle fuelled by public funds despite displaying a saintly posture before the public.
Apart from purchasing a N300m mansion in Abuja and erecting another N100m property in Kebbi State for his newly married son, Abdulaziz, Malami broke the bank to hire several private jets to fly in family members and important guests to the lavish ceremony, which took place inside the Kano State Government House on Saturday.
Besides the opulence on display, the event breached the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control’s guidelines on Coronavirus prevention as over 20 persons were in attendance against what the rule stipulates.
A previous leg of the ‘multi-layered’ wedding ceremony saw wads of naira and United States dollars being sprayed on Abdulaziz and his bride, Khadija Danbatta, thereby violating the Central Bank of Nigeria’s rule, which forbids the country’s currency from being sprayed or abused in any form in public.
In other exposes, SaharaReporters revealed how Malami’s sons drive around in multi-million naira luxury cars and how one of them owns an event centre in Kebbi State worth around N1bn without any known job or source of income.
In addition to these, fresh facts at the disposal of SaharaReporters has revealed how Malami’s first wife in 2019 bought a property worth N33m in Kebbi State.
The property is located opposite Y.S Makera Secondary, Primary and Nursery Schools on Sani Abacha Bypass Road in Birnin Kebbi, capital of Kebbi State.
Findings by SaharaReporters revealed that the woman was into the sales of petty items prior to 2015 when her husband joined President Buhari’s government.
She is, however, said to now control many houses and businesses worth millions of naira in Kebbi and Kano states.
These revelations are on top of the discovery of a newly completed state-of-the-art school owned by Malami and said to be one of the biggest in Northern Nigeria.
The revelations by SaharaReporters comes shortly after Malami was discovered to have ordered the auction of crude oil and diesel seized by the Nigerian Government from an oil firm known as Omoh-Jay Nigeria Ltd.
The firm and its Managing Director, Mr Jerome Itepu, stood trial at the Delta State High Court, Asaba, for allegedly stealing about 12,000 metric tonnes of crude oil loaded in a vessel, MT Akuada a.k.a. MT Kua, valued at N384m in 2009.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had in 2015 arraigned four persons on charges of conspiracy, stealing and receiving stolen goods in relation to the matter.
Observers have continued to fault Malami for giving such a questionable approval especially going by the fact that the crude oil and diesel in contention were stolen by the said company.
The AGF has also faced increased public bashing for taking over some high profile corruption and human rights violation cases only to allow such fizzle into oblivion against public interest.
Last week, he ordered the EFCC to transfer all top corruption cases to his office, sparking fears of such matters disappearing from the landscape in no time going by previous events.
Source: Sahara Reporters