The Federal Ministry of Justice, under the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has exhausted its personnel costs in the 2021 budget and is currently bankrupt and unable to pay the salaries of its workers, SaharaReporters has gathered.
Some workers in the federal ministry told SaharaReporters that life had become increasingly difficult for them as they were unable to meet their financial obligations.
They wondered how Malami and other senior officials of the ministry would claim to have exhausted their personnel budgets before the end of a fiscal year, adding that the morale of the staff was now low.
“The Ministry of Justice was unable to pay us last month’s salary because the ministry has exhausted its budget according to the office of the Accountant General of the Federation. The Accountant-General had written to call the ministry’s attention to it before, but out of Malami and others’ negligence, they didn't take it serious, because they refused to act on it,” a female worker told SaharaReporters.
“Hence, they couldn't pay our salaries.”
Another worker in the ministry stated that if the situation was allowed to continue, their productivity would be affected.
He added that expectedly, many of them were down with rising debts.
“The personnel cost of the ministry is exhausted. The top officials have lavished the money and have run down the ministry with wasteful spending. We have not got last month’s salary,” he said.
SaharaReporters had in a series of detailed investigations exposed how the Attorney-General of the Federation acquired several properties whose value ran into billions of naira since being appointed by Buhari.
For example, Malami has an underground hotel in Sokoto, three houses at Peace Estate, Abuja, a brand new state-of-the-art school in Kebbi, two houses for his sons worth N100million each, and a new hotel under construction in the Jabi area of Abuja.
He also bought a house in 2020 worth N150 million in the Gwarimpa area of Abuja.
Part of Malami’s assets since becoming a minister is also a newly constructed school which is located at the back of NITEL in Gesse Phase 1, Birnin-Kebbi.
A new house worth N600million on Ahmadu Bello Way, Nasarawa GRA, Kano, was acquired by Malami also after becoming a minister.
Malami also built a N3billion multipurpose event centre in Kebbi state named Azbir Arena for his son in Kebbi.
This is apart from Rayhaan Hotel located on Zaria Road, opposite Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, which the AGF massively upgraded.
Ever since SaharaReporters published a series of detailed reports exposing these illicit acquisitions, the online news medium has been a target for the AGF’s camp.
Despite the open display of unexplained wealth by the AGF and members of his family in recent times, President Buhari, who rode to power in 2015 on the back of a promise to crush corruption, especially in the government circle, has yet to offer any statement on the development.
Observers say Buhari’s silence is an endorsement of the atrocities of one of his most trusted lieutenants, Malami.