By Adenike Lucas
The Governor of Ekiti State has lashed out at Lagos based Lawyer, Femi Falana, who acquired a $1 Billion property on 42 Gana Street.
Sources familar with an investigation currently carried out by Italian prosecutors investigating Malibu oil deal revealed how Mr Falana, SAN received the house, which was an asset recovered by the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reform from Alhaji Aliyu Abubakar (popularly known as AA Oil) and handed to the Economic and Finamcial crimes Commission, EFCC.
The Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami while testifying before the National Assembly confirmed that 42 Gana Street was sold to “a Lagos Lawyer,” thereby giving credence to the information given to us by our source.
The erudite Lawyer is said to have benefited largely from the EFCC assets recovered from former chairman Nuhu Ribadu, Ibrahim Lamorde and the current acting chairman, Ibrahim Mustafa Magu.
Mr Falana’s critics say it’s why he continues to defend Mr Magu, despite an indicting report from the secret police.
When Mr Magu’s nomination as fourth chairman was rejected by the Senate in March, Mr Falana was of the opinion that lawmakers didn’t not need to screen the corrupt Borno born officer- a flawed argument that contradicts the EFCC Act.
In a statement, Mr Falana tried to distance himself from the EFCC, claiming instead to have acquired the property through A Group Properties Limited who “decided to sell some of the properties. The sale of the property in question to me was made subject to the setting aside of the order of interim forfeiture which had been obtained by AMCON.”
While addressing the press in Ado Ekiti on Monday, the Governor said, “It is has become necessary to add my voice to the new scandal where you find our supposed men of honour, defenders of democracy, crusaders of justice, people who want corruption stamped out of our land, allegedly traced to similar unfortunate purchases of alleged stolen property. Especially, when such allegations are coming from the number one minster of justice for the nation, Abubakar Malami (SAN),” he said.
“The disclosure by the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, that a Lagos-based lawyer, was one of many highly placed Nigerians who allegedly were compensated by the EFCC and Ibrahim Magu with properties retrieved from corrupt government officials was initially taken with a pinch of salt.
“However, Mr Falana, friend and defender of every obnoxious act by EFCC and Magu, has come into the open to not only give veracity to the allegation but also admit that he was the Lagos-based lawyer in question.
“Falana’s attempt to be clever by half in the explanations he offered to justify his alleged atrocious act; whether or not he was a first degree or third degree buyer; his efforts to white-wash what is an alleged fraudulent deal and a betrayal of public trust ; whether or not he bough personally or through company or proxy; and his desperate double speak to wriggle out of this tight corner; whether court has ruled or has not ruled, all fell flat on its face,” he said.
Governor Fayose who insisted that truth must be told, further said: “We must call a spade a spade and what is bad is bad. It is sad, disgraceful and shameful that
“Falana, a supposedly social crusader, anti-corruption advocate, and friend of the masses, can be cited in such odious, obscene, and offensive conduct.”
The governor therefore urged the Federal Government to ensure that the allegation against Falana is properly investigated and not swept under the carpet
“Linking Falana to illegally acquired properties seized by the EFCC is bad enough but the facts provided by Malami makes the case against Falana even worse.
“This must be the real reason why Falana always fall head over heels in defence of the EFCC and Magu, not minding the vicious violations of the constitutionally-gurranted rights freedoms, and liberties of citizens. What we have always suspected has now been confirmed publicly and by no less a person as the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
“Falana’s alleged unprincipled and disgusting defence of the EFCC and Magu’s penchant for disrespect of the rule of law and due process is for selfish reasons and personal gain.
“How many more Falana’s do we have in the system? Malami should please help us to expose them. Some dubious elements have been deceiving the people and feeding fat on a so-called anti-corruption war that exists only in their imaginations.
“this Falana-gate must not be swept under the carpet like so many others before it. It is so disgusting that what was recovered from a thief has been stolen by an armed robber. It is a case of the loot being re-looted. Investigations must go back to the time of the pioneer EFCC chairman, Nuhu Ribadu to uncover those who have been cornering all choice properties recovered from looters.”