‘Where is evidence?’— Malami denies knowing suspect in Odili home invasion



Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), has denied relationship with the suspect — Lawrence Ajodo — linked with the raid on the residence of Mary Odili, justice of the supreme court.


On October 30, security operatives — made up of soldiers and police officers — invaded the Abuja residence of the supreme court justice over an allegation that illegal activities were going on there.


A search warrant was reportedly granted to one Lawrence Ajodo, identified as a chief superintendent of police who had claimed to be attached to the AGF’s office.


Last Thursday, the police paraded 14 persons in connection with the invasion.


During the parade, Ajodo, who Frank Mba, police spokesperson, described as a fake chief superintendent of police, said he works with Malami in carrying out asset recovery.


Some hours after the parade, the attorney-general, in a statement released by Umar Gwandu, his spokesman, denied any alleged connection with the suspect.


Again reacting to the development, Malami, in an interview on Channels Television, on Sunday, said he has never met with the suspect before, adding that there is no relationship — distant or close — between him and the suspect.


The minister of justice said Ajodo should provide “formal evidence” of his engagement by the office of the attorney-general, adding that is the only source to prove his alleged relationship with the suspect.


“In terms of knowledge by way of either relationship — distant or close — I don’t have any relationship whatsoever with Lawrence Ajodo,” Malami said.


“I do not know him. I do not engage him. I do not instruct him formally or informally that is the true position as far as Lawrence Ajodo is concerned.”


Asked if his office uses the help of consultants for some of its activities, he responded: “Well, the office of the attorney-general engages people officially, particularly lawyers, who are engaged in one way or the other for the purpose of confirmation of officials, either by their capacity as legal practitioner or any specialised arrangement.


 “The issue arising from this is where is the evidence of formal engagement? If Lawrence Ajodo is in any way engaged by the office of attorney-general, where is the formal evidence of such engagement? I think that is the fundamental question.


“The office of the attorney-general, as you rightly know, is an official office and with that in mind there is just no way any other person can be engaged informally for the purpose of provision of service. That is my take on it.


“The office of the attorney-general has not engaged with Lawrence Ajodo formally or informally, and as a formal office that is put in place for the service of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


“Whatever engagement needs to be made by tradition, conventions and practice must be done formally. I think at the starting point for Lawrence Ajodo or any other person that feels strongly about that to now present for the consideration of the general Nigerian public a formal engagement letter.


 “And that can only be the source of engagement or formal relationship, if any, have existed.”



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