ABUJA: The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Mallami (SAN), has said on Saturday, June 20, 2920 that he did not stop anti-corruption agencies from investigating alleged fraud in Nigeria Incentive-based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL).
Malami disclosed this in a statement sent to journalists by his media aide, Dr Umar Gwandu, on Saturday, June 20, 2020.
Recall there was a silent from the minister over a report on Friday, June 19, 2020 that he had sent a memo to the President Muhammadu Buhari, advising him to remove Ibrahim Magu, the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),
An online platform had allegedly reported that Malami ordered security agencies to cover up an ongoing multi-billion naira fraud at NIRSAL.
It was also alleged that the AGF was frustrating the probe of the fraud and had ordered security agencies to stop the investigation.
The news platform said the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, the State Security Service and Nigeria Intelligence Financial Unit were allegedly directed by the AGF to stop investigating the fraud within 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 the Minister said the directive contained in the letter was for 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 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.”