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Malami’s case going Babachir’s way – Senators

Preliminary investigation into embattled former pension boss Abdulraheed Maina’s case has shown that it may lead to a repeat of the episode of the sacked Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal, senators have said.
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Lawal’s trouble started in senate when he was indicted in a grass cutting scandal and finally sacked last month by President Buhari.
Senators who are probing Maina’s scandal revealed last night that three incriminating evidence have been received against the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.
The Senate on October 24, this year resolved to probe the scandal following a point of order by Senator Issah Hamma Misau (APC, Bauchi) on the issue.
A probe panel chaired by Senator Emmanuel Paulker (PDP, Bayelsa) had held series of closed sessions with top officials of the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC), Minister of Interior, General Abdulrahman Dambazau, the AGF and other parties.
Twice the panel held secret meetings with the AGF.  The first meeting was held on Tuesday and the second one yesterday. It was from the first meeting that it emerged that the AGF met with Maina in Dubai.
A member of the committee said three incriminating evidence against the AGF are in their possession.
“The issue is more than his meeting with Maina in Dubai, it is about the documents. When he appeared on Tuesday, we showed him the documents. He accepted one but say he should be given time to look into the remaining two. This is why he appeared again today (yesterday),” he said.
Our correspondent reports that yesterday’s meeting was conducted at the office of the panel’s chairman. Sources at the committee said the panel relocated from the hearing room to the office following the leak of their Tuesday’s meeting to newsmen.
Another member of the panel said: “ we felt may be you people (journalists) hid your recorders at the hearing room when we excused you on Tuesday and that was why you got the information on what transpired in our closed session.
“Our finding is going the way of the sacked SGF and we will not allow you the media to jeopardize it,” the Senator said, pleading not to be named.
The source who said it would be difficult for Malami to survive the scandal, said Dambazau knew nothing about how Maina was secretly reinstated and promoted into the civil service.
In an interview, Paulker told our correspondent that nothing would be swept under the carpet in Maina’s probe.

Malami could not be reached for comments last night, but Paulker said the AGF will appear again before the panel next week, assuring that, “our report will be ready before Christmas break. We are conducting the investigation in this way because we don’t want our report to be coloured by the media.”

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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