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Malami Justifies his involvement in contract to recover debt from oil companies

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Minister of justice and attorney-general of the federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, has explained that his involvement in the debt recovery contract he awarded to Trobell International Limited was out patriotism.

President Muhammadu Buhari had terminated the contract over the “incredible” commission which amounted to $2.15 billion — or N774 billion — at the initial estimate of $43 billion.

Buhari was said to have been alarmed by the five percent commission recommended for Trobell which was to help secure unpaid arrears to Nigeria from the oil production sharing contracts (PSCs) with multinational companies.

However ,Malami in another statement issued through his spokeman, Umar Gwandu, said his engagement in the recovery is because of his patriotism to the country.

The statement reads,“The effort was neither propelled by any ulterior motive nor about gratification of any personal desire through any percentage to be given to the recovery agent, but of an unflinching patriotic commitment to get back to the country the revenue it deserves.

“It has never been the tradition of the Attorney-General of the Federation to demand much-less of accepting a Kobo on matters relating to such engagements and conduct of his official duties.

“Multiple agents were overtime engaged in that respect without pecuniary consideration.”

The minister said it was Trobell which first brought the recovery idea and payment of the professional fee is “exclusive function” of the ministry of finance, budget, and national planning.

“It is a function exclusively vested in Federal Ministry of Finance which has the right to vet, confirm and interrogate issues before any payment is made,” the statement read.

“And payments are made upon recovery directly to the recovery agent and not to the Office of Attorney-General.

“The Attorney-General of the Federation is determined to protect his integrity against individuals and corporate personalities bent on tarnishing his reputation in the conduct of government affairs.”

The AGF, however, failed to comment on the termination of the contract by the president

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