The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, has denied knowing or engaging at any time, a fake police officer, Lawrence Ajodo who was among 14 persons paraded by the Police over the siege to the Abuja residence of Supreme Court Justice, Justice Mary Odili.
Ajodo, who allegedly led the team that invaded Justice Odili’s home, had during interrogation, confessed to be a consultant to the AGF but insisted that he was not sent on the raid by the AGF.
Speaking yesterday on Channels Television’s Programme, ‘Politics Today’ monitored by our correspondent, Malami reiterated his stance, saying he had never met Ajodo or engaged him in any job for the ministry.
He said: By my recollection, either in my personal capacity or as AGF, I did not know him, I didn’t engage him formal or informally. That is the position of things as far as Lawrence is concerned.”
Asked if the office of the AGF engages consultant for recovery of properties, Malami said: ‘The office of the AGF engages people officially, particularly lawyers. But the issue here is about official engagement. If Lawrence has evidence of being engaged by the AGF office, he should bring the proof. There is no way someone can be engaged informally as a consultant. So he should provide the public with the letter of engagement by the ministry.
”It is on account of this that I engaged the office of the Inspector-General of Police to conduct an investigation into the matter and look at it from the point of criminality and the police has come up with a report. I reiterate again that I don’t know this man and I have never met him. The IGP has concluded his investigation.”
Asked if he could recollect Ajojo ever being on the payroll of the AGF office, Malami said: ”Government business is a formal business, so if there is any formal engagement of anyone for business, it must be formalized. I can tell you that nothing like Lawrence Ojodo exists in our system or any agency of government that I know.”
Malami affirmed that there was a unit in his office in charge of asset recovery but reiterated that Ajodo to the best of his knowledge was ever engaged to work in that unit.
“There is an asset recovery unit in my office. Government business is regulated through processes and procedure, so they do not operate separately from other departments or against government laid down procedure. The man said he was engaged by the AGF. There are 36 AGFs in the country, so he should say which of the AGF engaged him.”
When confronted with the video confession of Ajodo that he got briefs from his office directly to recover 29 assets, Malami responded thus: ” I think Ajodo has spoken clearly without mincing words on this issue by saying that I didn’t send him on the assignment to raid Justice Odili’s house. That is the issue at stake. The second important issue is that the IGP has investigated this matter and clearly stated that Lawrence is not in any way engaged by my office.” The answers are clear and the man has said I didn’t send him. This is just a case of criminal enterprise that these people are engaged in. This is a man who has been shown to forge signatures.
Also about his reaction to the call by the NBA that an independent by constituted to investigate the matter, Malami said: “The Police which is constitutional empowered to carry out this investigation has submitted it report. If the NBA feels strongly about the report, there are ways to challenge the findings. They can go to court to upturn it. I believe that the NBA Preside may have his own agenda which he is pursing arising from certain conspiracy theory. But I think that if he feels strongly about the police report, he should go to court.”