The Attorney General has hurriedly pushed out a number of preposterous claims to Nigeria’s Premium Times in a desperate effort to divert attention away from the series of brewing scandals that surround him. There is the London shopping spree; the growing concern in Washington over his failure to uphold the law; and the dismal record on human rights and denying justice to the thousands of Christians that have been persecuted under his watch.
Let’s set the record straight.
AG Malami Myth #1: Malami claims that P&ID indirectly paid more than $300,000 in bribes to Taofiq Tijani, a technical assistant in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, including $50,000 that was dropped into the back of his car.
- False. This entire claim is a fallacy; it did not happen.
- This is the ultimate unsupportable story. Conveniently for Malami, the two gentlemen accused of giving Mr Tijani the ‘duffel full of cash’ are long deceased. Malami has not presented a shred of corroborating evidence—because there is none. This is nothing more than a reckless and fabricated allegation supported by no evidence against two dead men who cannot defend themselves.
- Mr Tijani’s statement was obtained through a blatant disregard for fundamental due process. What AG Malami purposefully withheld from the Premium Times is that his Fifth Witness Statement to the English Court makes it clear that the statements by Mr Tijani were made “following a revocable plea bargain.” What does this mean? Mr. Tijani’s future freedom depended on whether he gave the AG the answers he was looking for; the ‘evidence’ was obtained under duress. Conveniently omitted from the Premium Times story was that when Mr Tijani was first interviewed, he denied any wrongdoing. Only when threatened with imprisonment and offered a “get out of jail free card” did he change his story. This is state coercion, pure and simple. It is not legitimate evidence and cannot be credibly accepted at face value.
AG Malami Myth #2: According to Malami, former Minister Dr Rilwanu Lukman was corrupt.
- False. The ongoing attacks against Dr Lukman by AG Malami remain part of a frantic effort to shift blame away from the Buhari Administration, including Malami himself. Malami has sworn under oath in his Fourth & Fifth Witness Statement to the English Courts accusing Dr Lukman of corruption in the P&ID deal. Malami has yet to produce a shred of evidence to support the allegation. Here are the facts: the P&ID project originates from Dr Lukman’s vision, as Minister of Petroleum Resources, to electrify Nigeria by leveraging the country’s abundant supply of natural gas. (This vision contrasts sharply with the Buhari administration’s own deplorable record on electricity production.) Once again, AG Malami has attacked a deceased person unable to defend himself against this sinister and unsubstantiated attempt to smear his reputation. Dr Lukman was a man of the highest integrity and one of the most respected Nigerian Government officials of recent decades: a two-time OPEC Secretary-General with a sterling reputation, and former President Yar’Adua’s Minister of Petroleum Resources. These ludicrous allegations against a man of the highest standing, are being placed at the centre of AG Malami’s case against P&ID. This screams of desperation—it is just another piece of the profoundly flawed, weak “fraud” claims Malami is pursuing.