The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, has ordered the reopening of fraud cases against 31 former governors in the country, Punch reports.
According to the paper, Malami has written to the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission, directing the reopening of the cases.
The Chairman of the ICPC has 14 days “remit the duplicate case files concerning the politically-exposed persons investigated by the ICPC over the years” to the office of the AGF.
The 31 former governors include:
- Bukola Saraki (Kwara State)
- Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom)
- Ali Modu Sheriff (Borno)
- Orji Uzor Kalu (Abia
- Chimaroke Nnamani (Enugu)
- Saminu Turaki (Jigawa)
- Sule Lamido (Jigawa)
- Joshua Dariye (Plateau)
- Ahmed Yerima (Zamfara)
- Gabriel Suswam (Benue)
- Martin Elechi (Ebonyi)
- Danjuma Goje (Gombe)
- Murtala Nyako (Adamawa).
- Ikedi Ohakim (Imo)
- Obong Victor Attah (Akwa Ibom)
- Achike Udenwa (Imo)
- Abdullahi Adamu (Nasarawa)
- Gbenga Daniel (Ogun)
- Jolly Nyame (Taraba)
- Boni Haruna (Adamawa)
- George Akume (Benue)
- Rashidi Ladoja (Oyo)
- Attahiru Bafarawa (Sokoto)
- Adebayo Alao-Akala (Oy0)
- Usman Dakingari (Kebbi)
- Adamu Mu’azu (Bauchi)
- Peter Odili (Rivers)
- Lucky Igbindedion (Edo)
It was learnt that the cases against some of the former governors were investigated some years ago but charges were never filed against them.
Malami’s letter partly reads
“It is clear that some of these governors and other politically-exposed persons have not been charged to court despite the fact that the ICPC has concluded their investigations, concerning allegations levelled against them, for one reason or the other.
“It is the position of the present administration that all ex-governors, who the ICPC had long concluded investigations into the various allegations levelled against them, should be immediately prosecuted.”
The letter also gave the Chairman of the ICPC a 14-day ultimatum to “remit the duplicate case files concerning the politically-exposed persons investigated by the ICPC over the years” to the office of the AGF.
Our correspondent confirmed on Wednesday that the AGF had sent a similar request to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission with the same list of former governors annexed to his letter.
The PUNCH had reported that some of the ex-governors, according to one of the sources, include some, who had been convicted for charges preferred against them by the EFCC.
Some of them also had their cases terminated before full blown trial could begin.
Others are currently undergoing trial on charges initiated against them by the EFCC at either the various divisions of the Federal High Court or the High Courts of their home states.
There are about five of the former governors, who are now said to be serving senators.
The affected personalities, it was learnt, served as governors for either one or two terms between 1999 and 2015, and are from all the six geopolitical zones of the country.
It was also confirmed that the majority of those on the list belonged to the two dominant political parties, the All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party.
Another source also confirmed that a former Governor of Delta State, James Ibori, who was convicted in the United Kingdom for fraud-related charges and still serving his prison terms, was on the list.
Apart from Ibori, two former governors from the South-South, are said to be on the list.
Five of the former governors are from the South-East, and three from the South-West.
The PUNCH was informed that the ex-governors, whose cases would be reopened, included six from the North-West; six from the North-East, and eight from the North-Central.
The AGF letter defines high-profile cases as cases “involving alleged misconduct amounting to economic sabotage; involving complex financial transactions or property movement; involving any of the suspects, who is a politician, a public officer or judicial officer; and where the subject matter involves government or corruption of its official or involves the abuse of office.”
Such judiciary officers, it was learnt, would include judges allegedly involved in economic sabotage, including financial transactions.
The AGF’s letter to both the ICPC and EFCC indicated that AGF’s request for the case files was in the exercise of his powers vested in the AGF by Section 174(1) of the Constitution as well as sections 105 (3) and 106 (a) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
Our correspondent’s findings showed on Wednesday that ICPC and EFCC had yet to respond to the AGF’s request.