Federation Attorney General Abubakar Malami and President Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff Prof. Ibrahim Gambari urged the president to approve $ 159 million (90.63 billion naira) as legal fees to a certain Dr Ted Iseghahi Edwards despite a report incriminating him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), gathered SaharaReporters.
The amount was part of the controversial $ 418 million initially approved by President Buhari to consultants.
The Nigerian Governors Forum had recently arrested the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, for having issued promissory notes in favor of judicial creditors or consultants concerning the reimbursements of the Paris and London clubs.
The governors claimed that President Buhari had approved the payment of the Paris Club judgment debt of $ 418 million despite pending court cases.
However, Buhari ordered the finance ministry in early September to ask the Debt Management Bureau (DMO), which was supposed to pay in the form of promissory notes, to suspend the action “until all cases are cleared up. exhausted â.
Documents seen by SaharaReporters on Monday evening showed that one of the fund’s beneficiaries, Dr Ted Iseghohi Edwards, was not representing the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) as he claims.
A letter dated August 1, 2018 from former EFCC chairman Ibrahim Magu to the Justice Department / Attorney General’s Office also charged Edwards with attempted fraud of the Nigerian government.
He said: âThe suspects had filed claims in court to be one of the judgment creditors during the garnishment proceedings and the claims were dismissed by the Federal High Court. The judge, in a ruling on June 27, 2016, frowned at Dr. Ted Edward for waving a judgment allegedly issued by the Federal Capital Territory on October 30, 2015 and in fact swept it aside.
âBy the ex parte petition filed on March 30, 2015, the judgment creditors applied for a Nisi garnishment order which was granted on April 1, 2015 and set the return date to April 16 for garnishment to justify why the Nisi ordinance should not be made absolute.
âThe Honorable Judge in his ruling stated unequivocally: ‘Allow me to state at once that the substantive case was brought by me until I delivered the judgment on December 3, 2013. J ‘ve searched my files up to the date of entry of the judgment. I could not find the name of Dr Ted Iseghahi Edwards as a representative of the judgment creditors, even for a day, and I could not find any proceedings filed by his law firm. How then was this judgment continued.
Another point to note is the fact that, according to the alleged letter of engagement sent by Dr. Ted Edwards, he was hired on September 15, 2011, well before the case went to court, citing the amount correct judgment.
âWhat this raises is the fact that the said letter of undertaking was written after December 3, 2013 and backdated to give the impression that the suspect had been hired before the start of the case. There is no evidence to prove that the suspect did any work related to the recovery process.
âA careful review of the MoU, Dr. Ted Iseghohi Edwards and the Honorable Odunayo Ategbero betrays the plot and an attempted fraud of the federal government by the suspects.
âPending actions; Invitation and / or arrest of the suspect, Dr Ted Iseghahi Edwards to confront him with all the issues raised in the above assessment.
âResearch and filing of an order for provisional confiscation on any property or asset acquired with the proceeds of fraud by Dr. Ted Iseghahi Edwards. “
SaharaReporters concluded that despite the report, Malami and Gambari persuaded Buhari to approve $ 159 million in legal fees for Edward.
They also ordered the DMO and the Department of Finance to hand over the promissory notes to Edward and others so they could take their stock, a source said.
âEdward was the General Secretary of ALGON when the Paris Club FHC / ABJ / CS / 130/2013 reimbursement case was dealt with by Joe Agi (SAN) and his colleagues before Judge Ademola. It is clear that he was not ALGON’s lawyer and this is what ALGON said in writing to Malami and the Chief of Staff, Gambari, âthe source told SaharaReporters.
âThe EFCC in its report to Malami and Gambari also established that TED EDWARD did not represent ALGON and that Ted Edward with his own hand admitted that Joe Agi was the lead lawyer for ALGON. He went to a judge, Baba Yusuf, and got a judgment that he was ALGON’s lawyer in the Paris Club refund case.
âYet Malami who knows this recommends that Ted Edward receive $ 159,000,000 in fees from ALGON instead of the lawyer himself. Won’t that amount to a double payment every time Mr. Joe Agi Asks To Be Paid? According to my investigation, Mr. Joe Agi, ALGON and the Nigerian Governor Forum have all returned to court to challenge the payment of the $ 418 million including Edward’s through banknotes. order.
“Shouldn’t Malami take a second look at the prosecution and see if there really is fraud as being widely alleged?” Instead, he and the chief of staff deceived the President and subsequently ordered the Debt Management Office and the Finance Office to deliver the promissory notes to Edward and others so that they could can take their actions.
âThe total sum of $ 418 million suggested by Malami to be paid is only a tip of the iceberg of what is to come unless he is stopped. Nigeria will go bankrupt before President Buhari leaves office. Buhari’s anti-corruption war was effectively cut off by Malami and Gambari using their powerful offices to deceive the president who truly trusted them. All it needed to be done is allow an independent people to go through all the cases concocted on Malami’s advice and the truth will be seen and Nigeria saved from all these massive robberies.
“Why doesn’t Malami dispute any of these judgments?” If I can ask; in most of these complaints, the EFCC had investigated, taken statements and established that none of the contacts had been carried out. The report was submitted to Malami and former Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun by the Magu-led EFCC suggested the arrest and questioning of Ted Edward and a Prince Nicolas Ukachukwu, but he and Gambari deleted The report.
âThe same man who suggested being arrested is the one Malami says should be paid $ 159,000,000. ALGON had written several letters to him and to Fayemi, who is the president of the Nigerian Governor Forum, saying that all the work done by Edward and others was wrong, not done. Yet Malami, faced with this clear case of fraud, deceived the president in a memo and said a judgment had been passed against them.
âHe also negotiated the debt at 50 percent and convinced the president to pay up to avoid more damage. It is high time that President Buhari saved his anti-corruption war by prompting a full investigation of his appointees implicated in this massive fraud.
A series of detailed investigations carried out by SaharaReporters in 2020 showed that Malami had acquired several properties valued at billions of naira since his appointment by Buhari.
For example, AGF owns an underground hotel in Sokoto, three houses in Peace Estate, Abuja, a brand new state-of-the-art school in Kebbi, two houses for his sons worth 100 million naira each and a new hotel under construction. to the Jabi region in Abuja.
Malami also bought a house in 2020 worth 150 million naira in the Gwarimpa area of ââAbuja.
A newly built school is located at the rear of NITEL in Gesse Phase 1, Birnin-Kebbi, while a new house worth 600 million Naira on Ahmadu Bello Way, Nasarawa GRA, Kano is among the properties acquired by Malami since he became minister under President Buhari.
Malami also built a N3 billion multi-purpose event center in Kebbi State named Azbir Arena for his son in Kebbi.
This is outside the Rayhaan Hotel located on Zaria Road, opposite the Aminu Kano University Hospital, which AGF has massively modernized.
Since SaharaReporters published a series of detailed reports exposing these illicit acquisitions, the media organization has been a target for the AGF camp.
In addition to falsely claiming to have sued SaharaReporters for exposure reports which he said damaged his reputation in the world, Malami also petitioned former Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu about the question of shutting down the publisher of the online media. , Omoyele Sowore.
Despite the open display of unexplained wealth by AGFs and members of his family in recent times, President Buhari, who came to power in 2015 on the promise of crushing corruption, especially in the government circle, did not has made no statement yet. on development.
Observers say Buhari’s silence is an endorsement of the atrocities of one of his most trusted lieutenants, Malami.