Firm I engaged to recover $62.5bn debt not mine –Malami

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), on Friday, denied owning a firm his office engaged to recover about $62bn debt from some international oil firms.

Malami, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr Umar Gwandu, on Friday, said the firm had been mischievously portrayed as his in some media reports.

The statement stated that “Malami in his personal capacity does not have personal ‘debt collectors’ for the recovery of Federal Government’s debts.”

The statement added, “For the avoidance of doubt, the Office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice does not engage recovery agents based on projected personal gratification or individual’s inclinations.

“Hence, all those engaged by the Federal Government for undertaking certain tasks in the recovery of assets and generation of revenues belonging to the government did not belong to ‘Malami’ as mischievously portrayed by some certain media outlets but the Federal Government of Nigeria through the instrumentality of  the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

“Such engagements were purely based on the interest of the general public as a guiding principle.

It added, “It is the same Federal Government that engaged the Trobell in the recovery of the unpaid Federal Government revenue that asked the agency to step down based on the stakeholders’ meeting held.”

The $62bn which five international oil companies  allegedly owe Nigeria followed the 2018 Supreme Court’s judgment which adjusted the Production Sharing Contracts between Nigeria and the firms.

The firms have since filed suits to challenge the amount quoted by the Federal Government as their accrued debts.

PUNCH

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