Attorney General Abubakar Malami tells Buhari that he was a successful businessman before he joined his cabinet
The nation's attorney general says he owned and ran successful businesses before accepting a government role in 2015.
A coalition of civil society organisations (CSOs) had asked President Buhari to probe Malami over “14 high-profile corruption cases."
The online newspaper, SaharaReporters has repeatedly called out Malami for a slew of corruption allegations.
Malami has also been accused of illicitly auctioning sea vessels holding crude oil which had been seized by the federal government.
The affluent lifestyles of his kids have also been linked to him.
Reacting to the allegations, Malami said he needed to write to the president in order to clear his name.
He also said he will be seeking redress in court.
"These allegations falsely portray me as a corrupt officer who used public office to acquire wealth and build an empire," Malami wrote to Buhari.
The AGF said before his appointment in 2015, he had run a “successful legal practice of more than 20 years” and had floated lucrative businesses which he had declared at the Code Of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
“Since my appointment as a minister in your cabinet, I have conducted myself strictly within the confines of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers contained in Part 1 of the Fifth Schedule of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, as amended.
“It is to be noted that apart from my successful legal practice of more than 20 years, seven of which were as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, before my appointment, I have as allowed by law had interests in business ventures, all of which I had resigned from active participation upon my appointment.
“Among other things, I owned lucrative business ventures of Rayhaan Hotels and Rayhaan Food & Drinks, both in Kano, since December 13, 2013, years before the 2015 election that saw to the victory of President Muhamadu Buhari as the President and long before I was appointed to be a Minister in the first term.
"That informs why those items were included among 27 property listed in the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, Form filled by Malami when he was first appointed a minister.
“Apart from the above as income from the government, Your Excellency is invited to also note that while the Code of Conduct for Public Officers prohibits my active participation in the running of my already established ventures, it does not preclude me from gaining the fruit of my establishments.
"Hence, earnings from mainly the hotels, restaurants, farms are used to either improve these ventures or to expand and build new ones. In all these, the requirement of the law is that I declare at the point of exit from office as I have declared at the point of entry.
“On assumption of office in 2015, I had course as a constitutional requirement to file my assets declaration form at the point of assuming duty as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria detailing my assets which include: my houses (both residential and others) farmlands, hotel, school and other enterprises.
“Statements of accounts from all my banks were also submitted to the Code of Conduct which were duly verified as is the procedure after submission is made. A copy of the form is attached hereto as annexure1, should Your Excellency wish to personally review it.
“As a public officer, my sources of income were streamlined and narrowed to my entitlements from the government coffers. These entitlements come in the form of salaries, allowances and estacodes.
"For the period, I have served as a Minister (for the 1st term) starting from November 11, 2015 to May 28, 2019, the cumulative figure of what constitutes these entitlements is as provided for in our laws relating to the salary and emoluments of political office holders.
“I have taken a personal decision to seek remedy from the court as a result of the series of derogatory contents so published against me. In the same vein, I have written the Inspector General of Police to investigate the matter,” Malami wrote.
Malami, 53, retained his portfolio after Buhari won a second term in office in 2019.
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