How Not To Be Attorney General!

What is the responsibility of the lawyer basic of the federation (AGF)? The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended outlined the responsibilities of the AGF on 174(1) as follows “The Lawyer-Basic of the Federation shall have electricity –(a) to institute  and undertake felony proceedings in opposition to any person just before any court  of regulation in Nigeria, other than a courtroom-martial, in regard of any  offence designed by or below any Act of the National Assembly (b) to  take about and  carry on any such criminal proceedings that may possibly have been instituted by any other authority or human being, and (c) to discontinue at any phase ahead of judgement is sent any such criminal proceedings institute or undertaken by him or any other authority or man or woman. (2) The powers  conferred on the Legal professional-General of the Federation under subsection  (1) of this portion could be exercised by him in individual or through  officers of his section. (3) In exercising his powers underneath this  part, the Legal professional-Standard of the Federation shall have regard to the community fascination, the interest of justice and the need to have to prevent  abuse of lawful method.” The electrical power of the legal professional common of the federation is enormous that is why if not appropriately dealt with could direct to abuse. Small speculate, that  considering the fact that the return of democracy in 1999, the attorney generals of the  federation from Michael Aondoakaa, to Mohammed Adoke experienced still left office  trailed by controversies.  A short while ago, the lawyer typical and minister of justice, Abubakar  Malami, SAN, was in the information that experienced still left several Nigerians scratching  their heads, asking, what is going on?

In late October the information media was awash with the report that some stability agents invaded the Abuja home of the supreme court justice Mary Odili, the spouse of Peter Odili, the previous governor of  Rivers Point out. The security operatives, who had been manufactured up of soldiers  and officers of the Nigeria Police Pressure (NPF), amongst some others reportedly discovered themselves as  customers of a joint endeavor pressure. The security operatives, reportedly  said they obtained information and facts on “illegal activities” likely on in the  property. It was gathered that the  safety team on the ground in the residence, comprising adult males of the State  Stability Support (SSS) and the police, turned back again the visitin safety agents, acquiring not been certain by the explanation offered as to  why they were being in the house. Although  it was at first assumed to be a joint procedure by guys of the SSS and the Financial and Economical Crimes Commission (EFCC), the two  organisations distanced officers from the incidence. This was  interpreted by many Nigerians as another  try to muscle mass the judiciary. The dastardly act was later denied by  the business of the Legal professional Common of the Federation, insisting that  investigation would unravel the culprits. Malami’s spokesperson, Umar  Gwandu, said the  ministry or the AGF “is not involved in any way”. However, when the  law enforcement paraded the alleged culprits it still left quite a few queries unanswered.

Parading the suspects, law enforcement spokesman, CP Frank Mba, exposed that  the alleged perpetrators  consisted of people drawn from the police, armed forces, journalism,  civil provider, and the lawful career. He disclosed that seven of the suspects, like two troopers, were being at large, even as he vowed  that all suspects at significant would be apprehended. Mba described the  leader of the unlawful operation as pretend Main Superintendent of Police  Lawrence Ajodo. According to him, the suspects were being free canons and  document forgers running their prison enterprises and had not been employed by any personnel from the Ministry of Justice.

Yet another twist to the make a difference was the claim by one particular of the culprits that  he was a advisor to the business office of the AGF. The legal professional-typical of  the federation distanced himself from the confessions of the suspect  and termed on the suspect to create evidence of contractual agreement  between them, the terms of references for the alleged consultancy assistance and when he was engaged. The distinctive assistant to Malami on media and community relations, Dr. Umar Gwandu, produced this recognised in a  statement issued in Abuja.

Also, a short while ago the 36 condition governors less than the aegis of Nigerian  Governors Discussion board (NGF) have had induce to problem the AGF’s patriotism.

The governors claimed that the AGF was working versus public’s  curiosity by insisting on the payment of $418 million to private  consultants from the accounts of point out governments.  The consultants are declaring a proportion of Paris Club refunds as  payment of companies they reported they rendered to the states and local  govt. The federal federal government had identified to pay the  consultants from point out accounts but a  Federal High Courtroom restrained it from building these types of deductions until all  difficulties relating to that subject have been completely established. In a statement  signed by the spokesman of the office of the attorney-common of the  federation, Umar Gwandu, the  AGF prompt that the states and local governments had acted in bad  religion for taking the scenario to court docket. The deductions ended up ratified by  numerous court judgements, the AGF stated, and the federal government  only experienced to stage in to avoid  forfeiting any of its belongings, considering that it was also a defendant in the  lawsuits towards the states.

But the NGF, in a statement signed by its spokesperson Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, claimed the AGF’s steps “raises issues of propriety and the spirit of justice.”

“The HAGF is meant to be the main arbiter in all matters  about Nigerians, in particular the bad masses of this country. It  is incumbent on him to, not just ensure that justice is done, but  that justice is observed to have been carried out,” the statement mentioned.

“The undue haste, with which the statement was issued even right before the  company on the AGF of the court procedures and the get dated 5th November, 2021restraining the Federal Authorities, seems to suggest  that there is a particular romantic relationship concerning the Place of work of the HAGF  and the consultants around and higher than Nigerian citizens, whose interest  the HAGF as the Main Legislation Officer of the Federation is statutorily  bound to usually protect.”

Also, really a short while ago, the AGF’s identify came up for scrutiny when it was  alleged that he issued a directive that a part of the $136 million  belonging to the Nigeria Nationwide Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should  be compensated in naira equal. The  claim was made by Keystone Lender. The financial institution built this revelation during  a hearing of the Ad-hoc Committee on Assessment and Standing of all recovered loots, Movable and Immovable Property, covering loots and  property from 2002 to 2020 by companies of the federal governing administration.

Malami, who had proven that a overall of $136,676,600.51 was to be   compensated to NNPC, directed that 96 million be paid in pounds, even though 40  million should really be compensated in naira. “Out of this overall volume, we paid  $96  million in United States pounds and we paid the equivalent of $40  million in naira,” according to Lawal Ahmed, the Govt Director,  North and Public Sector Directorate, Keystone Bank. He also explained that  Malami encouraged the exchange  fee at N305 to a dollar. Numerous Nigerians are continue to processing this  incident and also asking yourself, what is going on!

Not many Nigerians would forget how the AGF equated motor spare parts  sellers throughout the nation with killer herders that experienced been  terrorizing farmers in Nigeria, for which he drew a lot of flaks. The  workplace of the AGF is a sacred position, and like Caesar’s spouse, should  be above board. And also previously mentioned suspicion!

A former Deputy Attorney Typical of the United  States underneath the Invoice Clinton administration, Jamie Gorelick,  describing the features of a great attorney basic reported the primary  obligation of the attorney common is to be the voice for the rule   of regulation, and to assure both equally the successful and neutral enforcement of  the regulation, and recommend the president and the relaxation of his administration  on the methods in which the steps that they choose can conform to law and  coverage and the Constitution. That is the style of legal professional standard,  Nigerians want Malami to be!


Aluta Continua!

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