The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has condemned what it described as the series of attacks and allegations against the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice; Abubakar Malami.
HURIWA said these allegations and attacks are orchestrated and executed by elements close to powerful forces backing the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, adding that these groups hide under compromised Civil Society Organisations and induced media platforms to launch personal attacks against the AGF.
HURIWA’s statement was signed by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and made available to DAILY POST on Friday.
The human rights group noted that campaigns against Malami intensified since he urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Magu for alleged infractions.
“To achieve their nefarious objectives, they have twisted several allegations which range from mismanagement of funds, abuse of office to obstruction of criminal investigations just to distract and even disable the Chief Law Officer of the Federation and make a mess of the whole anti-corruption fight especially that involving Magu,” HURIWA said.
HURIWA, therefore, called on Nigerians to support Malami as he champions the duties specified in the office as his functions and powers.
“His contribution in the area of carrying out the assigned roles of his office is indelible,” the group insisted.
HURIWA listed among other things the AGF’s contribution in taking over the Sowore case that eventually saw to the release of hitherto detained Sahara Reporters publisher and former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki.
HURIWA pointed out that it was not holding brief for the AGF but very concerned about the ongoing campaigns against him for several reasons, which among them are the efforts to distract and even disable Malami at a time Niagara is embarking on measures to strengthen the laws and institutions.
It said this is because the mandate as given to the Office of the Attorney-General is critical to the fight against corruption, which is the cardinal focus of the current administration under the leadership of Muhammadu Buhari.
“Secondly, we all are aware that Magu is embattled with about 21 corruption allegations brought against him by the AGF
“Thirdly we have credible intelligence that the people behind these attacks and compromised civil society groups are being sponsored by persons sympathetic to Magu just to mess up the whole investigation on the EFCC.
“Fourthly, the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) issue they are basing their allegation of obstruction of corruption cases on, the AGF did not direct the stoppage of the investigation, but only directed for a well-coordinated investigation to be carried out by the Nigerian Police, which is the body legally recognized and empowered under section 214 (1) and Section 29 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999 as amended) and the Police Act, respectively.
“The AGF’s letter dated February 4, 2020, as published by the online media is a clear and unambiguous directive that the other several agencies conducting parallel investigation on NIRSAL in respect of the same subject matter to stay action and allow the Nigeria Police Force to continue and conclude the investigations it had started in order to avoid multiplicity, confusion and wastage of scarce resources.
According to HURIWA, the above is not an offence and is totally incredible how the alleged sponsored elements, on a mission of personal vendetta against the AGF, are bringing forth tainted, unwarranted allegations at a time the anti-graft structures and system is being investigated.
The rights group warned that the sponsors of this alleged vicious campaign must not be allowed to achieve their evil plans.
“We urge President Buhari not be deceived by these vicious attacks on Malami because those bringing up these allegations are working hard to scuttle the ongoing reformation in the EFCC,” the group said.
Recall that an anti-corruption group in Nigeria had recently submitted to President Buhari, corruption allegations against Malami.