The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to disband the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) headed by Prof. Itse Sagay.
According to a presidency source who spoke with Daily Independent on Sunday, Malami’s reason for the committee to be scrapped is that it is no longer relevant to the fight against corruption.
The source added that Malami asked Buhari to disband PACAC as he did with the Special Presidential Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) formerly under the supervision of Okoi Obono-Obla.
“The minister has made some recommendations, one of which is the disbandment of PACAC. It, however, remains to be seen whether the president will approve of it or not,” the source said.
When contacted, Malami, who spoke through his media aide, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, said only the President can determine whether PACAC is still useful or not.
He said: “PACAC is a presidential committee established by the presidency long before the appointment of Abubakar Malami, SAN, as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and his assumption into office in 2015.
“The fate of the existence or otherwise of the committee is an exclusive preserve of the presidency regardless of whether it outlives its usefulness or not.”
Trouble began between Malami and PACAC over the committee members’ belief that the minister was interfering in some of their works, especially on their report on some corrupt Nigerians.
The committee also incurred Malami’s wrath when it declared public support for the reappointment of Ibrahim Magu, former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
However, Malami, in a memo to President Buhari, accused Magu of a myriad of contraventions, especially “diversion of recovered loot, insubordination and misconduct”. He further said that Magu was not transparent enough in the management of the recovered assets.
Magu was later probed and found guilty of the charges leveled against him by the Justice Ayo Salami panel which recommended his sack.
The president, thereafter, appointed Abdulrasheed Bawa, the Lagos zonal head of EFCC, as the substantive chairman of the anti-graft agency.
Following Bawa’s confirmation by the Senate, Sagay had said Malami, as the person who recommended him for the position, will interfere in his work and will not allow him to operate.
Responding, the minister said Sagay is “a confused old man whose vision is beclouded by speculations and guess works.”