Between attorney general and justice minister – Part 2 | The Guardian Nigeria News

The AGF routinely advises the president and the governing administration on all issues linked with the interpretation of the structure, legislative enactment and all issues of guidelines referred to him. He also advises heads of ministries and agencies of federal government typically these troubles need the sensitive equilibrium of government actions with the dictates of the rule of regulation. The AGF is obliged to assure that the rule of regulation is not compromised in any type. This is often a fantastic job, provided that authorities actions from time to time conflict with the interest of the citizenry.

iii. That Sophisticated democracies these kinds of as the United kingdom, and some African international locations like Kenya and South Africa have considering the fact that regarded the potential conflict of desire that could crop up from a person and the similar man or woman executing both of those features and have considering that arrive to the reasoned conclusion to individual the offices. In the United Kingdom, the place of work of the AGF is separated from that of the justice minister. Even though the ministry of justice is headed by the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of Condition for Justice who is a member of the cabinet the AGF is a non-cabinet minister who qualified prospects the AGF business.

Having stated that the focal issue of the arguments in aid of the bifurcation of the business of the Lawyer Standard and the Minister of Justice is hinged on the have to have for the Legal professional Normal not to be partisan, it is essential to take into consideration the arguments against these kinds of bifurcation with its succeeding issues.

i. Meanwhile, individuals in opposition to the separation of the offices argued that this sort of would total to jurisdictional thoughts. It would stall cases in court in trying to find interpretations of whom in between the Minister of Justice and the Lawyer-Normal of the Federation has “jurisdiction to both institute an motion or carry out one particular perform or the other”.

ii. Further more argued that genuine justice can only be accomplished if the two places of work are mixed. Even though there is no question that the Ministry of Justice, remaining a single of the ministries of the federal government does the bidding of the govt, the position of the potential Attorney Basic after modification has however to be determined.

Inhibiting variables
Possessing viewed as the difficulty of bifurcation of the obligations and powers of the Legal professional Common and Minister of justice, the probably difficulties that will occur will include the insurmountable hurdle of how the Lawyer Basic is to be appointed. Is he to be appointed by the government, the populace by means of well-known election or by the Nigerian Bar Association?

If the Legal professional General had been to be appointed by the President, he is likely to put up with from the identical likelihood of bias and deference to the executive arm of authorities that the present occupier is accused of. The plan of the Main Regulation Officer, getting popularly elected, strips the exalted office from its neutral stance in the muddled waters of politics. Leaving the occupier of the exalted business to be appointed or elected by the Nigerian Bar Association violates the concepts of common illustration.

The duplication of the business office could also end result in jurisdictional queries stalling up instances at the court docket searching for interpretations of whom between the Minister of Justice and the Lawyer General of the Federation is the good party to either institute an action or have out a person purpose or the other. The consequential duplication of capabilities which is probable to be the aftermath of its division leaves significantly to be wanted.

Though the reservation of the `separation` bloc is not unfounded, the way out of the tunnel is not in the division of the office environment but in the officer occupying the place of work himself.

He should really bear in mind that whilst he is a member of the government arm of federal government appointed by the President, he is to provide as an unbiased umpire, balancing the welfare of the citizens versus that of the State. He must consequently not be frightened to tilt the scale of justice to the side exactly where a equilibrium is discovered wanting. He must be a fearless minister in the temple of justice whose blindfold should not be made use of to perpetrate injustice. He must also not be scared to resign his office environment if he believes that the point out would like him to choose a stance or put into practice a coverage that runs contrary to the theory of the `benefit of the highest number.

Equally, dichotomy of offices in Nigeria has not yielded a wonderful offer of improvements. For occasion the office of the Accountant General, the Minister of Finance and the Governor of Central Bank are battling with the situation of who performs what purpose and every single not willing to be subservient to the other.


Ajulo, fellow of Chartered Institute of Arbitration (Uk) is the controlling partner, Castle of Law, Abuja.

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