Ahead of the 2023 governorship election in Kebbi State, Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has distributed 30 premium vehicles to his political associates and supporters in the state.
According to sources within his All PROGRESSIVE Congress (APC) in the state, the car gifts include 14 Mercedes-Benz (GLK) whom the minister gifted to dedicated social media influencers promoting his gubernatorial ambition.
The ministers also gifted other associates, eight Prado SUVs, four Toyota Hilux, and four Lexus LX 570 each, Premium Times learnt.
Some of the beneficiaries are executives members of Mr Malami’s foundations, and Women Support groups.
The cars were distributed days after the country’s chief law officer, declared his intention to join the governorship race of his native Kebbi State.
In his declaration speech, he said he has been under pressure to contest the state’s governorship position in 2023.
Though Mr Malami did not announce the car gifts, an official in the State Government confirmed the distribution.
The official, Zaidu Bala, the new media aide to governor Atiku Bagudu, in a Facebook post, congratulated one of the beneficiaries.
“Congratulation Abdulrahman Ibrahim Sahihi May God bless the car gifted to you by (AGF) Attorney General of the Federation Cika Malami,” Mr Bala said in Hausa while posting the photo of the beneficiary with Mercedes Benz (GLK).
When reached for comment, the media aide of Mr Malami, Umar Gwandu, told PREMIUM TIMES the vehicles were donated by friends and associates of his boss to members of his foundation and not to APC delegates or stakeholders in the state.
He said the rumour that the AGF gifted the vehicles to his delegates and party members was “mischievous and misconstrued.”
“It is abundantly clear that the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has teaming supporters from home and beyond.
“This has been demonstrated not only by the calls from far and near for him to vie for Kebbi gubernatorial seat in the forthcoming election but also by donations from friends, associates and supporters of N135m.
“The recent donation of N135m has opened doors for donations and supports of many items including vehicles by well-wishers.
“It was friends and associates of Malami who donated and distributed vehicles to long term workers in the Khadimiyya Foundation.
“The occasion was not for the distribution of vehicles to any APC stakeholder. None of the APC stakeholders or delegates in Kebbi State was given any vehicle by Malami.
“You can contact the National Secretariat of the APC, and get the lists of all the APC stakeholders and delegates in Kebbi State. Do an investigative story to reach out to them then you realised how fictitious is the claim.
“Comparing the names of APC stakeholders and the beneficiaries of the vehicle will reveal to you that there is no connection between the two and the two are not connected whatsoever,” Mr Gwandu said.