The Presidential Investigative Committee on the EFCC under the chairmanship retired Justice Ayo Salami panel have been given more powers to widen its probe—only that it still spares some sacred cow.
Consequently, Justice Salami and his members will derive their authority from the section 1 of the Tribunals Inquiry Act (CAP T21, LFN, 2004)
In that wise, the panel has been mandated to move out of its Aso Rock chamber, and conduct public sittings in order to unearth all the allegations against the EFCC suspended boss Ibrahim Magu, his directors, some of the high-profile suspects, including Diezani Allison Madueke, the PID case, and others.
But observers, however, are worried the dragnet covers Magu alone, and leaves out the other major character, AGF Abubakar Malami, and his roles many have critiicised in the federal government anti-corruption.
Malami has also been delicately enmeshed in corruption allegations in cases the commission, which his office supervises, have handled between 2015 and now.
In his defence, Magu named Malami in certain cases, especially high-profile cases the commission had gone far prosecuting, and others like selling impounded vessels when the case is still in court.
Just days ago, a coalition of anti-corruption NGOs petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari, presenting a catalogue of allegations—corruption, abuse of office, self-enrichment—against the justice minister.
Earlier, Sahara Reporters, too, unearthed an estate of landed properties belonging to Malami, whom the online news portal described as a little known lawyer before he was appointed in 2015.
Malami, in what seemed a knee-jerk reaction, wrote a letter to Buhari August 10, saying he was already made of money—with 27 pieces of estate—before he became minister.
“The law of Nigeria doesn’t preclude one from eating the fruit of one’s establishment,” he added.