The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) has stated why his office withdrew the corruption case against Senator Danjuma Goje.
Mr Goje, a former governor of Gombe State has been defending an N8billion suit filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) after he left the office in 2011. He described his prosecution as an embarrassing triviality.
The AGF gave the explanation in a statement signed by Umar Gwandu, his spokesman.
“As to the allegation of withdrawal of the corruption case of N25bn against former Gombe State Governor, Senator Danjuma Goje; the first point of correction is that the AGF did not withdraw a N25bn case,” the statement released on Friday read.
“The EFCC had filed a 21 charges of N8bn against Senator Goje and had been prosecuting same for over eight years without the AGF’s interference but after a no case submission filed by Senator Goje, 19 of the 21 counts making up the N8bn were struck out by the court leaving only two counts bordering on the manner in which the sale of some old buses belonging to Gombe State Transport Company between 2003 and 2011 were handled under the watch of Senator Goje.
“It was the said last two counts that the AGF thoroughly reviewed in 2019 and having found no prima facie case, withdrew in exercise of his constitutional power pursuant to Section 174 of the 1999 Constitution,” it added.
The attorney general did not give reason why the court was not allowed to decide on the merit or demerit of the case.
Last year June, the office of the AGF under Mr Malami applied for the transfer of the case file to it and ultimately quashed the case going on for over eight years within a month.
This however did not happen until the lawmaker representing Gombe Central at the Senate who declared his interest to vie for the 9th Senate Presidency met with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Mr Buhari was reported by Sahara Reporters to have persuaded the lawmaker to shelve his ambition and allow the current Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, who was chosen as then consensus candidate by the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) to man the position.
The online medium said the president was trying to avoid a repeat of what transpired during the formation of the 8th Senate which saw then Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who formed alliance with the help of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) emerging against the wish of the ruling party.
Mr Saraki despite belonging to the APC at the time survived several attempts to oust him. The former Kwara State governor has severally been blamed as the stumbling block to the programmes and initiatives of the ruling party.
The current Senate headed by Mr Lawan is widely referred to as a rubber stamp Senate by critics despite rebuttal by the top lawmaker.