Nigeria's Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has confirmed a story by SaharaReporters that he ordered some security agencies to stop the investigation of a multi-billion naira fraud in Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending.
SaharaReporters had exclusively published a letter by the AGF in which he ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, the State Security Service and the Nigeria Intelligence Financial Unit to all stop investigating the financial misappropriation in NIRSAL.
The AGF had described the investigations as an "unhealthy competition" and a "sheer waste of government resources".
However, in a statement on Saturday by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, the AGF justified his action and said, "The directive was inspired by the desire to avoid multiplicity, confusion and wastage of scarce resources.
"After all, only one charge can be competently filed against the entity in respect of the same subject/facts being investigated by the multiple agencies if found wanting at the end of the investigations.”
SaharaReporters discovered that the conventional practice of the AGF is to always intervene in corruption cases in order to bury them.
For instance, in 2017, a senate ad-hoc committee, which probed Abdulrasheed Maina's reinstatement into the civil servic chastised the AGF after it discovered that the he wrote twice, giving directive to the civil service commission to reinstate Maina.
Maina, who was accused of a multi-billion naira pension fraud, was reinstated into the civil service but was eventually dismissed by President Muhammadu Buhari following public outcry.
The AGF also admitted meeting with Maina in the United Arab Emirates before the controversial reinstatement.
Furthermore, In 2018, Malami wrote President Buhari, asking the Federal Government to drop the Malabu oil block trial.
In 2018 also, Malami queried Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, for taking up the N10m corruption trial of Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Umar.
Since Malami intervened in the NIRSAL scandal, security agencies are yet to present their findings.
SaharaReporters had exclusively published stories about the financial misappropriation in NIRSAL.
In the last report, bank account and bail bonds were published, showing that Imran Aliyu, son of Aliyu Abdulhameed, Managing Director of NIRSAL was arrested and jailed for money laundering in the United Arab Emirates after his father fraudulently awarded a N2bn ICT contract to him.