Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has said he pities the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, over the issues surrounding the recall and reinstatement of former Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce on Pension Reforms, Abdurasheed Maina.
Falana was reacting to the allegation made by Malami, that a Lagos-based lawyer bought a property recovered from the defunct Presidential Task Force on Pension Reform headed by Maina.
The senior lawyer said he was aware that Malami was out to scandalize him, adding that the Minister had failed in his desperate bid to justify Maina’s recall.
Falana mocked, the Justice Minister over his inability to produce any evidence that Maina handed over any single property to the EFCC.
He told Punch, “Malami claimed that the same property worth N1 bn was recovered from the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reform headed by Mr. Maina and handed over to the EFCC, which sold it to a Lagos-based lawyer.
“Even though he did not mention my name , I knew that Mr. Malami was out to scandalise me. I thought that the Attorney General would have been more creative in his desperate bid to justify his defence of the fugitive from the law.
“So the same property that was seized from Alamiesiegha and sold to me by the EFCC has now metamorphosed to the one seized by the panel headed by Maina and sold to me by the same EFCC. So I came out to challenge Mr . Malami to substantiate his groundless allegation.
“But Mr. Malami has not been able to justify the monstrous allegation . Can you believe that Mr . Malami took an oath of office and swore by the Holy Quran to do what is right to all manner of people according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill- will. Has the fellow done that which is right to me without ill-will?
“However , I pity Mr. Malami for exposing himself to such gargantuan ridicule in his rabid bid to destroy me. I watched his appearance at the public hearing conducted by the House of Representatives on Channels Television and I pitied him.
“I could not believe that the chief law officer of the country could travel all the way to Dubai to meet a fugitive from the law. When challenged by the House Committee to justify the legal advice that he gave to the Federal Government for the recall and reinstatement of the fugitive, he turned round to deny one of the three letters written to the Federal Civil Service Commission on the matter.
“He had to do that as he could not produce the judgment that informed his decision to recommend the reinstatement of Maina. Of course, the judgment does not exist. Mr. Malami could also not produce any evidence that Maina handed over any single property to the EFCC.
“So the allegation that EFCC sold a property seized from Maina to me collapsed like a pack of cards at the National Assembly. If Mr . Malami had been more circumspect, he would have known that the allegation that the EFCC sold the N1 bn property to me had been discredited.”