Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, was caught trading Bitcoin, despite the clampdown on Cryptocurrency trading by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Malami had shared a screenshot of his phone to prove he had deactivated his Twitter account following his statement that anyone caught using the app will be jailed.
There had been allegations against him in some sections of the media claiming he had installed the VPN app to bypass the Twitter ban by the government under which he serves.
On the icon bar of the Attorney-General’s phone screen, a logo of Latoken, a Cryptocurrency exchange firm, was seen. Logo of apps recently used often saturates the top screen – this showed that Malami had recently opened the crypto app.
Mr. Reno Omokri, a former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, shared a screen grab from a Facebook page which he said was gotten from Malami’s handle.
He tasked people to verify his claims, and challenged Malami to deny the contents, even as he lambasted the AGF for being part of a government keeping people away from making a living, while indulging in the same act.
While there are no laws barring citizens from trading Bitcoin, Nigerians can’t use their bank account to pay or buy any Cryptocurrency, as the CBN has given instruction to financial institutions to close crypto-linked accounts.
It is not known if Malami is using his Nigerian account to trade Cryptocurrency, but his involvement in the digital asset – considering his level in the government – raises doubt in the financial regulator’s reasons for not wanting Nigerians to trade the digital coins.
The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, had stated that no respectable individual or investor trades in Bitcoin or other Cryptocurrencies, as he claimed the digital currencies are bought or sold by criminals to finance criminal activities.
Neither the Attorney General nor his media office has said anything regarding the accusations, or his position in the Cryptocurrency community.