President Buhari Is Committed To Electoral Reform – Malami

 

The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, on Tuesday said President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to improving electoral reform in the country.

Mr. Malami, who is also the Minister of Justice, made the comment during an appearance at an electoral town hall event broadcast on Channels Television.

Mr. Malami said the present administration has, more than its predecessors, allowed for the independence of INEC as an institution and also respected the decisions of the judiciary.

“We are all living witnesses to what happened in Zamfara for example,” he said. “We are all living witnesses to the fact that INEC as an umpire reserves exclusive rights to determine constitutional compliance of a political party in terms of fielding a candidate.

“For the first time, the judiciary has been granted its right to determine the validity of the electoral process.

“It is not correct to conclude that this administration has not supported the evolution of the electoral process.”

The National Assembly has said it is committed to passing an amendment to the electoral act by the end of the year and Mr. Malami said the President will surely assent, provided the submitted amendments do not contravene the nation’s constitution.

“Within the context of the legality of the electoral act amendment, I give you my commitment that the President will certainly assent, provided that there are no constitutional infractions,” Malami said.

Corruption Index: No Evidence Supports Transparency International’s Findings – FG Reacts

 

The Federal Government has said there is no evidence to back the report by Transparency International which places Nigeria at 146 out of the 180 countries on the 2019 corruption perception index.

In an interview on Channels Television’s LunchTime Politics, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami said the facts on the ground do not correlate with the information dished out by Transparency International.

As far as Mr. Malami is concerned “the empirical evidence” does not support  Transparency International’s report.

READ ALSO: Transparency International Scores Nigeria Low On Corruption Perception Index

The Attorney General said in terms of the government’s fight against corruption, more has been done.

“In terms of the fight against corruption, we have been doing more, we have done more and we will continue to do more out of inherent conviction and desire on our part to fight against corruption devoid of any extraneous considerations relating to the rating by Transparency International.

“Our resolve to fight corruption is inherent and indeed devoid of any extraneous considerations, we will continue to do more and we will double efforts.”

Speaking from the perspective of performance, Malami said there is nothing that has not been done as a nation in the fight against corruption.

“In terms of legislation, we have done more, in terms of enforcement we have done more, in terms of recovery of looted assets we have done more, and in terms of political goodwill, we have demonstrated extra-ordinary political goodwill,” Malami stated.

The Senior Advocate challenged Transparency International to provide indices and statistics from which the organisation adjudged that Nigeria is not doing enough in its fight against corruption, adding that for a conclusion to be legitimate, then there has to be specific facts and figures to establish a position.

Dasuki/Sowore Release: We Did Not Receive Any Letter From US Congress – Malami

 

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has denied that his office received a letter from the US Congress two days before the release of former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, from detention.

Mr Malami stated this Friday while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

“What I can confirm to you is no such letter was served on my office and no evidence or acknowledgment of receipt of such a letter in my office can be made available by the purported writers of the letter,” Malami told Channels Television.

READ ALSO: We Released Sowore, Dasuki On Compassionate Grounds, Says Malami

The AGF stressed that the release of Sowore and Dasuki was not a product of international pressure nor as a result of an intervention of the international community.

According to Mr. Malami, the release is a fair product of the government’s compliance with the court order in line with a desire to extend compassion to the individuals in question.

Regarding the government’s position on the continued detention of other political detainees like Sheihk El-Zakzaky and Agba Jalingo, Mr. Malami said in respect of all cases pending at the Judiciary, the government’s position is guided by the constitution.

INEC Renews Call For Election Offences Tribunal

INECNigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has restated the need for the establishment of an Election Offences Tribunal, as a means of checking the growing spate of electoral violence.

The Chairman of INEC, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, on Tuesday, reiterated the Commission’s position at a discussion on elections in Nigeria organised by some civil society groups in Abuja.

Professor Yakubu outlined some reforms needed and also touched on the need to urgently address the issue of electoral violence.

In his address, the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said the present administration intended to carry out a comprehensive legal reform to address challenges posed by outdated electoral laws.

One of the organisers, Clement Nwankwo, however, agreed that Nigeria must take concrete steps to address the electoral violence.

The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Electoral Matters, Aisha Dukku, said that the legislature would ensure that the proposed amendments were carried out on time.

The discussion is expected to be transformed into a document that would suggest other ways to improve the political and electoral process in Nigeria.