Attorney-General of the Federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami has explained why the N25 billion fraud case against Senator representing Gombe central, Danjuma Goje, was withdrawn.
The case against the lawmaker was withdrawn a month after he pulled out from the race for senate president and endorsed Ahmad Lawan, consensus candidate of the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Goje backed out of the race hours after meeting with Nigerian Ruler, Muhammadu Buhari at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja and three days later, the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation took over the case from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The regime had been criticised severely for withdrawing the charges preferred against Goje.
In a statement signed by his Spokesman, Umar Gwandu, on Friday, Malami said the regime had the constitutional right to withdraw any criminal case at any time.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Malami did not comment on why the regime did not allow the court decide the merit or otherwise of the case.