Prof. Itse Sagay

Renowned Nigerian lawyer Prof Itse Sagay (SAN) has faulted the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), for advising the Federal Government to drop all the charges filed against those implicated in the $1.1bn Malabu oil scam.

Sagay, who is the Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), said this during an interview with newsmen on Monday.

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He also faulted Malami’s claim that there was not enough evidence to prosecute the accused persons.

Sagay said, “My view is that this is not a civil case or breach of contract or negligence. This is an offence against the country, a criminal act. Although the AGF is empowered to withdraw even criminal cases filed by the Federal Government, this is supposed to satisfy the interest of the country at large.

“On this same case, people are being prosecuted in Italy and in Britain a lot of money has been recovered. So, it is strange to say that in the home turf, where it all originated and where all the evidences exist, there is no evidence. It is strange.

“It is also a problem because we know without any iota of doubt that past attorneys general have made money from this Malabu scandal. I am not talking of the current one. They have made money which is documented.

“For him to say the case should be withdrawn will look as if there is some form of solidarity or espirit de corps with previous AGFs. If the evidence is not enough, let the charges be withdrawn and they go do more investigations, gather more evidence, and then file charges again. But to say Nigeria should drop the case completely after losing over $1bn is unacceptable.”