Justice ministry has become ‘revenue-generating entity’ under Malami – Official

The Solicitor-General of the Federation, Dayo Akpata, Thursday lauded the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, for transforming the Federal Ministry of Justice into a “revenue-generating entity for the Federal Government”.

Mr Akpata, who is also the Permanent Secretary of the ministry presided by Mr Malami, said this was one the minister’s many remarkable interventions in the nation’s justice sector.

The official, who was speaking in Abuja at the launching of a book written in honour of Mr Malami, also credited the minister, “with bringing uniformity and synergy among anti-graft agencies regarding asset recovery”.

He said, “the honourable Attorney-General of the Federation assumed office at a time when the contemporary leadership issues and challenges were also evolving and in their characteristics.

“As a proactive chief law officer, he has ensured a paradigm shift in the operations of the ministry as a whole.

“He has introduced the assets recovery process which has brought uniformity and synergy in the management across the different agencies thereby leading to an increase in generating revenue for the country.

“For the first time in the history of Nigeria, we have a synergetic approach to assets recovery which is through a database and this is commendable for the proactive service.

“Also, under his watch, the Federal Ministry of Justice, for the first time, became a revenue profile generating entity for the government, and under his watch, other issues have witnessed reforms that include ‘strengthening the rule of law’, prosecution of high-profile cases and also corruption-related cases, and also corruption-related cases, which include technological innovations to address emerging challenges.”

Malami’s controversial profile

While there is a possibility that the quantum of revenue generated by the Federal Ministry of Justice has increased under Mr Malami leadership, the claim cannot be immediately verified by PREMIUM TIMES.

However, contrary to Mr Apata’s claims, the rule of law has largely been disregarded under Mr Malami’s watch as the nation’s chief law officer.

This is evident in President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s penchant for disobeying court orders, and suppression of protests and dissenting voices, through arrests, detention and filing of frivolous charges.

In July 2018, Mr Malami made a comment subordinating the rule of law and human rights to national security in his bid to justify the illegal detention of a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, who had been ordered released by various courts. Mr Dasuki is standing trial for diversion of public funds.

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Mr Buhari and other key elements in his administration have similarly echoed similar views, which could be suggestive of the type legal advice the minister offers to the government.

Also in terms of prosecution of high profile cases, Mr Malami’s disposition towards this has been a subject of controversy.

Book launch

The book, ‘Contemporary Issues In Nigeria Law and Practice’ was presented in honour of Mr Malami on Thursday.

The event which held at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre in Abuja, had in attendance the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami; the Chairman/CEO of anti-drug law agency NDLEA, Buba Marwa, among others.

Speaking at the event, Mr Omo-Agege showered encomiums on Mr Malami for his work in the recovery of looted funds “both home and abroad”.

He also said Mr Malami’s approach to rule law and fight against corruption was ‘exemplary’.

He added, “the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in January 2020 saddled him with the task of repatriating about $300 million of looted funds from the United States and the Island of Jersey.

“The AGF has successfully ensured the repatriation of over $11 million of the much talked about Abacha loot from the U.S.A and Jersey.”

Responding, Mr Malami thanked guest, adding that the gathering “exemplifies the unity of Nigeria.”

He said the recent “violent events orchestrated by a few unscrupulous and unpatriotic people cannot and will not undermine the constitutional status of Nigeria as a sovereign unified democracy.”

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