The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has begun moves to take a shot at the 2023 presidency, SaharaReporters has learnt.
Malami’s bid, it was further gathered, will rely heavily on funds in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission under the care of the new chairmanship.
SaharaReporters learnt that Malami, who has the new EFCC Chairman, 40-year-old Abdulrasheed Bawa, in his pocket, has shelved his earlier ambition of contesting the Kebbi State governorship election and is rather eyeing the Presidency.
It was gathered that Malami would use his influence in the Presidency to attempt to change the permutations in the All Progressives Congress or rather look for another party as cover to pursue his ambition.
“The AGF has upgraded to presidential campaign. He has abandoned the Kebbi State governorship ambition. He said he is too big to contest for governor, having made so much money under the Buhari administration.
“He has been a minister for eight years and now he is in charge of the EFCC after putting Bawa, his boy, there. He was desperate to take over the anti-graft agency so that he could make more money and determine candidates for the 2023 elections,” a source close to Malami said.
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Malami was instrumental in the sacking of the former acting EFCC chairman, Ibrahim Magu, from office, after having years of discord with Magu.
As part of his grand plot to achieve his 2023 ambition, the AGF had also fought to ensure that President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Bawa, despite detailed investigations indicting the 40-year-old of fraudulent acts.
SaharaReporters had two weeks ago reported that a 13-page investigation report by the EFCC, which indicted Bawa who was then the Port Harcourt Zonal Head, was forwarded to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 but the President failed to read or act upon it.
The report, titled, ‘Investigation Report – Re: Alleged Case of Conspiracy, abuse of office and criminal diversion of Federal Government Properties’, in which the suspect was Abdulrasheed Bawa, detailed how Bawa was recommended for disciplinary actions.
It had been exposed that the report was forwarded to the President’s office, but the AGF influenced how it was dumped and not acted upon by President Buhari.
Only last Thursday, the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption, Prof Itse Sagay, had warned that he was not comfortable with the fact that Malami and the new EFCC Chairman, Bawa, share the same state of origin.
He had expressed fears about the influence Malami would have on Bawa which may impair the activities of the commission.
“I noticed that they both come from the same state of Kebbi and they may even be related. For me, that is not a very healthy thing because the chairman of the EFCC and the EFCC are supposed to be independent.
“They are not politicians, they are trained, security officers. The attorney-general is a politician who has all the weaknesses and loads of a politician. He has people he is obliged to,” Sagay had said.