Fastnews Nigeria reports the story as it has it has been investigated.
According to an exclusive report by SaharaReporters, Nigeria’s Attorney-General of Federation, AGF, Abubakar Malami, built a multi-million naira mansion built in the name of his 22-year-old son, Abirul-Rahman Malami in Kebbi state.
The report pinpointed the location of mansion in the choice neighbourhood of Gesse Phase II in Birnin-Kebbi, capital of Kebbi State.
SaharaReporters, citing a source close to the Minister, described the location of the mansion sayind “the building is opposite street Safar conference hall, Gesse Phase ll, Kebbi state.”
Further in the report, it was stated that Abirul-Rahman who just got married is also known to drive around Birnin-Kebbi in multi-million naira luxury vehicles customised with different number plates.
Malami, 53, a lawyer from Kebbi State who was hardly known before 2015 when he was appointed into the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, is today one of the richest men in Nigeria, according to SaharaReporters.
Furthermore, in a series of detailed investigations carried out by SaharaReporters in 2020, it was revealed that the Nigerian Chief Law Officer had acquired several properties with value running into billions of naira since being appointed by Buhari.
For example, the AGF has an underground hotel in Sokoto, three houses at Peace Estate, Abuja, a brand new state-of-the-art school in Kebbi, two houses for his sons worth N100 million each, and a new hotel under construction in the Jabi area of Abuja.
The investigation also revealed that Malami also bought a house in 2020 worth N150 million in the Gwarimpa area of Abuja.
A newly constructed school is located at the back of NITEL in Gesse Phase 1, Birnin-Kebbi, while a new house worth N600 million on Ahmadu Bello Way, Nasarawa GRA, Kano, are among properties acquired by Malami since he became a minister under President Buhari.
That is not all, Malami also built a N3 billion multipurpose event centre in Kebbi state named Azbir Arena for his son in Kebbi.
This is apart from Rayhaan Hotel located on Zaria Road, opposite Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, which the AGF massively upgraded.
Ever since SaharaReporters published a series of detailed reports exposing these illicit acquisitions, the online news medium has been a target for the AGF’s camp.
Apart from falsely claiming to have sued SaharaReporters over the expository reports he said had damaged his reputation before the world, Malami also issued a petition to the former Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, on the issue to arrest the Publisher of the online newspaper, Omoyele Sowore.
Despite the open display of unexplained wealth by the AGF and members of his family in recent times, President Buhari, who rode to power in 2015 on the back of a promise to crush corruption, especially in the government circle, has yet to offer any statement on the development.
In an entirely different report, the Socio-economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has asked President Buhari to direct Mr. Malami, and anti-corruption agencies to investigate the spending of over ₦880 billion of public funds by 367 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in 2018 without appropriation.
In a series of tweets on Monday, SERAP said such investigations should lead to the recovery of the funds, adding that anyone found culpable should be prosecuted.
The tweet read, “SERAP has urged President Buhari to direct the AGF and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to investigate the reported spending of over ₦880 billion of public funds by 367 MDAs in 2018 without appropriation
“Any such investigation should establish whether public funds have been mismanaged, diverted, or stolen. Anyone suspected to be responsible should face prosecution as appropriate if there is sufficient admissible evidence and any misappropriated public funds should be fully recovered.
These damning revelations suggest a grave violation of the public trust, the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended], and international human rights and anti-corruption standards. Spending public funds without appropriation will create opportunities for corruption.
“Investigating and prosecuting anyone who spent public funds without appropriation and authorisation will send a powerful message that this illegal and unconstitutional practice will not be tolerated under President Buhari’s watch.
“This in turn would reduce the growing levels of borrowing and public debts. We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from President Buhari by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel his government to comply with our request in the public interest.
“According to part 2 of the 2018 annual audited report by the Auditor-General of the Federation, ₦880,894,733,084.811 was spent by 367 MDAs without appropriation. 14 MDAs reportedly spent ₦162,924,630,539.20 without appropriation. Similarly, 100 MDAs spent ₦229,136,261,325.73 on ‘social benefits’ without appropriation.
“151 MDAs exceeded their 2018 Overhead Appropriation by ₦476,625,502,048.87 without any evidence of supplementary appropriation or approved virement to support the extra-budgetary spending Furthermore, 102 MDAs also reportedly spent ₦12,208,339,171.01 on subsidies without budgetary provisions. The Auditor-General is concerned that the money may have been misappropriated.
“Identifying and naming and shaming those who spent public funds without appropriation would improve the chances of success of your government’s oft-repeated commitment to fight corruption and end the impunity of perpetrators. It will also serve the public interest.
“We’re concerned about the adverse consequences of unconstitutional & poor management of public resources on the human rights of poor & vulnerable Nigerians, including denying them access to essential public goods and services such as quality healthcare, education, and clean water
“Public confidence and accountability in public administration are instrumental to the prevention of corruption and greater efficiency. Transparent and accountable public financial management is a key pillar of good governance, and of vital importance to provide public goods and services to citizens, as well as to create and maintain fair and sustainable economic and social conditions in the country
“Corruption thrives in contexts that provide opportunities to engage in illicit conduct, widespread motives to take advantage of such opportunities, and weak controls. The prevention of corruption is more effective in environments that minimize opportunities, comply with constitutional and international legal requirements and standards, as well as encourage integrity.
“We also urge President Buhari to direct Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning to publish widely the details of MDAs and public officials involved in the unconstitutional spending of public funds.
“We urge President Buhari to ask the heads of the MDAs involved to explain why they reportedly spent public funds without appropriation, contrary to constitutional and international requirements, and standards of transparency and accountability in the preparation, processes and decisions on their budgets, and to return any money spent without approval to the public treasury.
“Section 80(2) of the Nigerian Constitution provides that no money shall be withdrawn from the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federation except to meet expenditure that is charged upon the fund by the Constitution or where the issue of the money has been authorized by an Appropriation Act, Supplementary Appropriation Act or an Act passed in pursuance of section 81 of the Constitution.
“Similarly, articles 5 and 9 of the UN Convention against Corruption to which Nigeria is a state party impose legal obligations on President Buhari’s government to ensure proper management of public affairs and public funds and to promote sound and transparent administration of public affairs and public property.