Malami says corruption probe at NIRSAL not stopped

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Mallami (SAN), has denied reports that he stopped anti-corruption agencies from investigating alleged fraud in Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending.

Malami said this in a statement sent to journalists by his media aide, Dr. Umar Gwandu, on Saturday.

He however did not react to reports that he had sent a memo to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), advising him to remove the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu.

SaharaReporters had reported that Malami ordered security agencies to cover up an ongoing multi-billion naira fraud at NIRSAL.

It cited a letter by the AGF sent to the Inspector-General of Police with reference number: DPPA/NIRSAL/110/20, and dated February 4, 2020.

But Malami said the directive contained in the letter was for the continuation and not stoppage of the probe.

The statement which quoted relevant portions of the letter stated, “It is pertinent to submit for all intent and purposes that the statement as quoted above does not convey the mischievous conclusion of stopping of the investigation of NIRSAL as portrayed by an online Media called Sahara Reporters.

“The clear and unambiguous directives of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation was that the other several agencies conducting the parallel investigation on NIRSAL in respect of the same subject matter should stay action to allow the Nigeria Police Force to continue and conclude the investigations it had started. The directive is by implication that of continuation not stoppage of the investigation.

“The directive was inspired by the desire to avoid multiplicity, confusion, and wastage of scarce resources.”

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