President Buhari Tolerated Excesses Of #EndSARS Protesters – Malami

 

The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, says President Muhammadu Buhari tolerated the ‘excesses’ of #EndSARS protesters in the country, back in October 2020.

According to the AGF, that, among other actions of the president is proof of his leniency, despite what he termed as “human rights violations” in the country.

Mr Malami said this on Wednesday while addressing a number of issues from the government’s reaction to the #EndSARS protests, to the appointment of new service chiefs, the extension of the appointment of the Inspector-General of Police, among others.

“As far as Human Rights records of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is concerned, the fact speaks for itself, the commendation by the international body which is the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, local compliance with the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission, which has been unprecedented, tolerance and indeed, accommodation for the excesses of the #EndSARS protesters were all facts that go to establish a point that the government of President Buhari has shown greater accommodation of the human rights violation and the tolerance to the human rights record as far as the Nigerian State is concerned,” the AGF said on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

According to him, “no nation in the world could have tolerated the idea of destruction to its security institutions”.

“I think over 20 police stations or more — I’m not certain about the number, they can be more — were destroyed during #EndSARS protests and government has a responsibility to ensure the protection of lives and freedom of movement.

“We are confronted with a situation whereby #EndSARS protesters blocked roads, caused mayhem, caused deaths, caused destruction, and they were significantly tolerated to a certain extent,” he added.

Meanwhile, the AGF also reacted to the court order on the Central Bank of Nigeria to unfreeze bank accounts of #EndSARS promoters.

He explained that the law provides the Federal Government with other options which include the right to challenge or exercise further considerations on the matter if the need arises.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had earlier today, ordered the CBN to unfreeze the bank accounts of 20 #EndSARS promoters.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed gave the ruling following the agreement reached by parties in the suit to amicably resolve the matter.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS: LCC Repossesses Lekki Toll Gate

He then, set aside the November 4, 2020 order and ruled that all the accounts of the affected persons “be immediately defreezed.”

The CBN, in an exparte motion, had prayed the court to freeze the bank accounts of Bolatito Rachael Oduala and 19 others who participated in last year’s protest to end police brutality in the country.

The apex bank said it took the action to investigate the promoters of the protest on allegations bordering on terrorism financing, among others.

Fresh EndSARS Protests?

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for victims of police brutality and other related matters has returned control of the Lekki toll gate plaza to its owners, the Lekki Concession Company (LCC).

The toll gate had been one of the major converging points for the protesters in Lagos last year and was also the location for the infamous #LekkiShootings, masterminded by security operatives particularly men of the Nigerian Army.

During the proceedings on Saturday, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi, gave a ruling allowing the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) Ltd to repossess the toll gate – a decision that has been met with diverse views from Nigerians, many of whom are of the opinion that the toll gate should remain closed in honour of those lost their lives o the incident.

Fresh protests are believed to be looming, even as the toll gate is expected to undergo reconstruction and subsequently, resume full operations.

Malami Denies NDDC Bribe Allegation, Says Culprits Should Be Exposed

A file photo of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami.

 

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, (SAN) has denied allegations that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Godswill Akpabio offered him bribes in respect of the appointment of a Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission.

A statement signed on Friday by the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, described the claims as fictitious.

“The report, as any fake news, was marred by evincing contradictions, figment of imagination, sheer fabrications and filthy assumptions of mischief makers and detractors,” the statement read in part.

“Any discerning mind who read the story will not fail to note the desperate attempt to cast aspersions on the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and dent his hard-earned reputation with unsubstantiated allegations spread by perfidious elements.

“The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) hereby makes an outright denial of the report in its entirety”.

Read Also: ‘We Cannot Thank You Enough’, Nigerians Pay Tribute To Fallen Heroes

The statement further stressed that the Minister has not collected and does not intend at any time to receive any gratification from any dealing and discharging any function he is constitutionally empowered to perform.

While calling on Nigerians to disregard the information Malami asked individuals who have any information, if any, regarding those who facilitated, accepted, delivered or took part in one way or the other in the alleged offer and purported acceptance of gratification for him or his office to come out publicly with the information with a view to exposing them and taking further necessary action.

The AGF condemned the act, describing it as a criminal offense.

He, therefore, encouraged the purveyors of the fictitious publication to approach relevant security and law enforcement agencies and proffer information that could lead to the criminal investigation and investigation against him if they feel strongly about their purported claim.

Reps Invite: Malami Was Wrong To Turn Buhari’s Summon Into Legal Issue – Wike

 

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State says it was wrong for the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation to turn President Muhammadu Buhari’s National Assembly invitation into a legal issue. 

Following the deteriorating state of security across the nation, the National Assembly resolved to invite President Buhari, an invitation that the Commander-In-Chief accepted.

But the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami in a statement on Wednesday argued that the National Assembly has no constitutional power to summon the President.

The Attorney General of the Federation in a communique titled ‘Buhari’s Summon: NASS Operates Outside Constitutional bounds,’ stated that the “National Assembly has no constitutional power to envisage or contemplate a situation where the president would be summoned by the national assembly on the operational use of the armed forces.”

READ ALSO: Do Not Sow The Seed Of Discord Among Governors, Wike Cautions PDP NWC

He also noted that the right of the President to engage the National Assembly and appear before it is “inherently discretionary in the President and not at the behest of the National Assembly.”

Reacting to Malami’s position on the matter, Governor Wike said rather than protect Buhari’s integrity, the Justice Minister’s statements put the President’s reputation on the line.

Wike further stated that the level of insecurity leading to deaths, particularly in Borno State and other parts of the country ought to have compelled President Buhari to keep his promise of honouring the invitation by the House of Representatives.

The governor pointed out that it was APC members who control a majority in the National Assembly that moved the motion to invite the President to address them on what measures are being taken to tackle and end the spate of violent killings, to which he consented.

“There is insecurity. People are dying. You don’t go by a legal approach to solve that problem. If Mr. President had given the assurance, saying my integrity is at stake, therefore I will go, that decision was not taken without talking first to his inner cabinet.

“It’s not a question and answers session. You go with a brief to address the congress. To say, see where it was when we came, see where we are today. Yes, we have not achieved what we thought, but what we require from everyone is cooperation.

“For me, I think this is not the period to be legalistic. This is the period every Nigerian should be concerned about what is happening. Just this morning (Friday), I heard that 16 people were killed on Abuja-Kaduna road yesterday. Look at the loss of life in Borno State. Senate has said look, Mr. President, relief all Service Chiefs, which means they are concerned about the security situation in the country.”

He further stated that if he were the Attorney General of the federation, he would have advised the President privately and urge him to write a letter to the House of Representatives that he would come at a later day because of the exigency of his office.

To end the spate of violent crime in the country, Governor Wike recommended the creation of employment opportunities for youths and drastic change to the operational system of policing in the country.

He insisted that States must be allowed to be involved in community policing.

Deputy Minority Leader Faults Malami On Buhari House Summon

 

The Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Toby Okechukwu, has faulted the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, on the powers of the National Assembly to Summon the President, saying the AGF was only airing the position of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The AGF had in a statement on Monday maintained that the House of Representatives resolution inviting President Muhammadu Buhari to interface with it on the rising insecurity in the country was “outside constitutional bounds”.

But Okechukwu, a senior lawyer, disagreed with Malami, describing the AGF’s position as “strange”.

He said that the invitation was a prudent effort on the part of the legislature to find a lasting solution to the worsening insecurity in the country, adding that the President’s willingness to appear was evident in his interaction with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.

READ ALSO: National Assembly Has No Power To Summon Buhari – Malami

“Without making undue to efforts to win an argument, Section 89 (1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended clearly empowers the Senate or the House of Representatives or a committee appointed in accordance with Section 62 of the Constitution to procure evidence, written or oral and to ‘summon any person in Nigeria to give evidence at any place.

“Therefore the attempt to pressurize Mr. President not to appear clearly shows that some highly placed political actors in the ruling party are placing politics over the protection of lives of Nigerians. The APC is evidently fiddling with propaganda and politics while Nigeria burns”, he stated.

The lawmaker, who represents Aninri/Awgu/Oji River Federal Constituency, Enugu State, described as unfortunate a situation where every invitation by a branch of government to another branch to interact towards addressing any national challenges was considered as demeaning, thereby triggering unnecessary flexing of muscles.

“It is evident from APC’s position as made public by the AGF that the safety of Nigerian citizens would take a back sit in the next few days, while the argument over who is right or wrong unfortunately takes the front seat” he added.

He, therefore, called on President Buhari to rise above the legalese and political fray to show leadership in order to rally the Nigerian people and their parliament to find lasting solutions to the growing insecurity in the country.

My Action Is Guided By Law, Malami Defends Setting Up Of Asset Recovery Committee

File photo of the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami

 

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has defended the setting up of the Assets Recovery Committee on looted funds.

In a statement issued on Tuesday by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, the Minister said his action was guided by the extant laws while recently inaugurating the Inter-Ministerial Asset Disposal Committee.

“Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN acted in compliance with the extant laws including the provisions Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Establishment Act 2004 in setting up the recently inaugurated Inter-Ministerial Asset Disposal Committee,” the statement partly read.

The statement said, “Section 31(1-4) and Sections 43 of the EFFC establishment Act 2004 will not only justify the action of the Minister but also clear doubts on the misconceived and shallow legal analysis in the public space on the legality or otherwise of the committee.”

Malami noted that “lack of understanding of the law was imminent in the wrong impression being created which was fueled by the faulty assumption that only the EFCC is engaged in asset recovery and forfeiture proceedings. Hence the challenge to the setting-up and mandate of the Committee.”

See Full Statement Below:

Assets Recovery Committee: Malami Guided by Law

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN acted in compliance with the extant laws including the provisions Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Establishment Act 2004 in setting up the recently inaugurated Inter-Ministerial Asset Disposal Committee.

This is contained in a statement issued by Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice which was made available to newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday 17th day of November 2020.

According to the statement community reading of the provisions of Section 31(1-4) and Sections 43 of the EFFC establishment Act 2004 will not only justify the action of the Minister but also clear doubts on the misconceived and shallow legal analysis in the public space on the legality or otherwise of the committee.

The statement noted that lack of understanding of the law was imminent in the wrong impression being created which was fueled by the faulty assumption that only the EFCC is engaged in asset recovery and forfeiture proceedings. Hence the challenge to the setting-up and mandate of the Committee.

In issuing Regulations and Setting-up Committee for Asset Disposal, the Attorney-General of the Federation was guided, amongst other statutory provisions, by the wordings of Sections 31(4) & 43 of the EFCC Act which confers the Attorney-General of the Federation with the powers to make Rules or Regulations with respect to the exercise of any of the duties, functions or powers of the EFCC (inclusive of asset disposal).

For the avoidance of doubt Section 43 of the EFFC Act provides thus: “The Attorney-General of the Federation may make rules or regulations with respect to the exercise of any of the duties, functions or powers of the commission under this Act.”

It is elementary law that the process of asset forfeiture and disposal constitutes part and parcel of criminal prosecution. It is also trite law that all prosecuting agencies derive their powers to prosecute from that of the constitutional and statutory powers of the Attorney General of the Federation.

The powers of the EFCC is constitutionally subject to the overriding powers of the Attorney-General of the Federation

It is important to note that asset forfeiture and disposal is a continuation of criminal proceedings and in furtherance of the powers conferred on the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation under Section 150(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as the Chief Law Officer of the Federation, Section 174(1)(b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) grants him the exclusive power “to take over and continue any such criminal proceedings that may have been instituted by any other authority or person;”

The Hon. Attorney General of the Federation is therefore on firm legal grounds to regulate the process of asset forfeiture and disposal from the EFCC or any other agency. The Ministries or Departments of Justice worldwide exercises similar powers of asset recovery, forfeiture, management and disposal.

The preeminent constitutional position and scope of the powers of the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation has been laid out in a plethora of judicial decisions such as EZOMO V. A-G, BENDEL STATE (1986) LPELR-1215(SC) Per ANTHONY NNAEMEZIE ANIAGOLU, J.S.C at ( Pp. 18-19, para. E ); Per ADOLPHUS GODWIN KARIBI-WHYTE, J.S.C at ( Pp. 38-39, paras. G-A ); AMADI v. FRN (2008) LPELR-441(SC) Per ALOMA MARIAM MUKHTAR, J.S.C at ( P. 17, paras. B-G ), etc. Indeed in SHEMA & ORS v. FRN (2018) LPELR-43723(SC) MARY UKAEGO PETER-ODILI,J.S.C at ( Pp. 66-74, paras. A-D ) which held that the powers of the Attorney General pursuant to Section 211 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) are not subject to review by any Court of law and there is a surfeit of judicial authorities in that regard such as State v. Ilori (1983) 14 NSCC 69 at 75; George v. FRN (2011) 10 NWLR (Pt. 1254) 1 at 68. The reference to Section 211 above also applies in equal terms to Section 174.

Whilst the Constitution has provided some safety nets on the above incontestable position by providing that the Attorney General shall have regard to the public interest, the interest of justice and the need to prevent abuse of legal process in exercising his powers, the foregoing still remains the Attorney General’s call to make. It is not in doubt that the disposal of forfeited assets is in the best interest of the public and justice. The Attorney General has a total responsibility to control and manage the conduct of criminal prosecutions.

It is, therefore, standing logic on its head for anyone to suggest that a man who is empowered to initiate, takeover and discontinue any criminal proceeding instituted by any person or authority, make Rules for the disposal of forfeited assets and the general operations of the EFCC, and a custodian of public interest, the interest of justice and power to prevent abuse of legal process among others has no power to manage or deal with the outcomes of such proceedings (even when conducted by EFCC) either by way of forfeiture or disposal.

The settled position of the law remains that power or duty conferred by the Constitution cannot be taken away by any other law as such will be declared null and void for inconsistency under Section 1(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). Thus, the powers of the Attorney-General of the Federation in criminal matters generally under the Constitution cannot be circumscribed or taken away by the provisions of Section 31(1-3) & 32(1) of the EFCC Act.

The powers of the Hon. Attorney General of the Federation in the conduct of criminal matters by law enforcement agencies is further emphasized by the following provisions of Section 29(1),105(1-3), 106, 107 & 108 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA). It is quite remarkable to note that Section 268(1) of the ACJA requires a public officer prosecuting in his official capacity in any criminal proceedings to prosecute subject to such direction as may be given by the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The Inter-Agency Committee has, therefore, been constituted in recognition of the relevance and statutory mandates of the listed MDAs and also against the background of the need to provide synergy and coordination amongst all relevant MDAs in the pursuit of the common agenda of the government. While the Committee will not be tied down by these needless distractions, it remains open to positive suggestions.

Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu

(Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations

Office of the Attorney-General and Minster of Justice)

Tuesday 17th November, 2020

Assets Disposal: FG Addressing MDAs’ Office Accommodation Challenge – Malami

A file photo of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami.

 

The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice has compiled and submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari, a comprehensive profile of Federal Government’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA’s) with office accommodation challenge.

This was contained in a statement on Thursday by Dr Umar Gwandu, the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations at the AGF’s office.

According to the statement, Mr Abubakar Malami, the AGF and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), disclosed this on Wednesday when he received a delegation from the management of the National Institute For Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) at his office in Abuja.

“The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has already compiled a comprehensive profile of Ministries, Departments and Agencies, that share common position with you with particular reference to accommodation by way of putting in a memo to the President seeking his approval to allow for such consideration,” the minister was quoted as saying.

Malami noted with concern the situation of things with reference to office accommodation of some agencies of the government.

He, however, promised to ensure that the challenge of office accommodation became a thing of the past.

In his address, the Director-General of (NIHOTOUR), Nura Kangiwa, said they were at the office to forward the Institute’s request for a permanent office and a training hotel from the seized assets of the Federal Government.

No Evidence To Prosecute Indicted SARS Operatives, Says Malami

A file photo of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami

 

The Attorney-General of the Federation Abubakar Malami has said there is not sufficient evidence to prosecute the 33 operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) indicted in last year’s report of a presidential investigative panel.

Having established this, Mr. Malami therefore, directed the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Adamu, to set up “a special investigation team” to conduct “thorough investigation” into the cases.

READ ALSO: WTO DG: Nigeria Will Press The Right Buttons – Garba Shehu

The report indicted 35 police operatives in 12 states and the federal capital territory for various rights violations including extrajudicial killing, death in police custody, unlawful arrest, biased investigation, unlawful intimidation, harassment, criminal assault, torture, cruelty, inhuman and degrading treatment, threat to life, extortion and confiscation of property, among others.

Thirty-three (33) others were recommended for prosecution, and punishment, including sanctions like reduction in rank and dismissal.

It also recommended that 57 victims be paid about N249million as compensation while the police should tender public apologies.

InterOcean Oil Deal: US Tribunal Relieves FG Of $1.5b Liability

Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister Of Justice, Abubakar Malami (File Photo).

 

 

The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute has relieved Nigeria of $1.5 billion and awarded an arbitration cost of $660,000.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Wednesday from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister Of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

According to the statement, the tribunal has absolved Nigeria from any liability, noting that the country did not breach her obligations in the contract agreement with Interocean Development Company and Interocean Oil Exploration Company under the Nigerian law or under international law.

“The tribunal finds no liability on the part of the respondent in connection with claimants’ loss of control over their investment, pan-ocean,” the statement read in part.

Mr Malami described the judgment as an addition to the multiple success stories recorded in international litigations by the Federal Ministry of Justice.

Read Full Statement Below.

FG Relieved of $1.5b liability, Gains $660,000 Arbitration Cost

The US-Based International Centre for Settlement of Investment Dispute headed by Professor William Park ordered InterOcean to pay the Federal Government of Nigeria Six-hundred and sixty thousand one hundred and twenty-nine United State Dollars and eighty-seven cents (USD 660,129.87) as reimbursement of its share of the arbitration costs incurred in the proceedings.

The Tribunal also absolves the Federal Government of Nigeria from any liability maintaining that Nigeria did not breach any of its obligations in the contract agreement with Interocean Development Company and Interocean Oil Exploration Company.

This is contained in a statement issued by Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice which was made available to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday 7th day of October, 2020.

The oil companies that has among its legal team, Mr. Olasupo Shasore, SAN requested, among others, relief from the Tribunal directing the Federal Government of Nigeria, its relevant privies and instrumentalities to pay aggravated damages in an amount to be proven during these arbitral proceedings which the Claimants estimate at being in excess of US$ 1.5 Billion (One Billion Five hundred Million United States Dollars).

According to the statement the judgment which was delivered yesterday, the Tribunal finds that the Federal of Government of Nigeria has not breached its obligations toward Claimants under Nigerian law or under international law.

“The Tribunal finds no liability on the part of Respondent in connection with Claimants’ loss of control over their investment, Pan Ocean,” the Judgment reads in part.

Commenting on the development, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami,SAN described the judgment as an addition to the multiple success stories recorded in international litigations by the Federal Ministry of Justice.

Malami who renewed commitment to patriotically and relentlessly discharge his constitutional mandates in the best interest of the nation and general public said gone was such an era of connivance to deprive the nation of its resources for gratifying ulterior motives of vested interest at the expense of the Nigeria populace.

Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu
(Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations
Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice)
Wednesday, 7th day of October, 2020

FG Launches Central Database For Recovered Stolen Assets

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.
File photo of Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, during an interview on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.

 

The Federal Government has launched a central database for the management of recovered assets.

The Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami during the launch on Thursday, in Abuja, said all the assets that have been recovered by the Federal Government are now tied to specific projects.

The launch was witnessed by officials from government agencies including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), and the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

READ ALSO: FG Approves Establishment Of New Anti-Corruption Agency

In his remark ICPC Chairman, Professor Bolaji Owasanoye said all anti-corruption agencies should be digitised and integrated for easy access.

He adds that the idea of the central database system is to ensure that all anti-corruption agencies harmonise all recovered assets.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice had earlier in December 2019 told journalists in Abuja that a central database will be created for the management of recovered assets stolen from the country.

He stressed that the war against corruption in the country by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is devoid of any political or ethnic sentiments.

P&ID: FG Yet To Pay $200m Bond To UK Court, Says Malami

 

The Federal Government has revealed that the bank guarantee of $200 million placed with a United Kingdom court to secure a stay on asset seizures of up to $9 billion related to the case against an Irish firm, Process, and Industrial Development (P&ID), has not been paid.

P&ID, a firm based in the British Virgin Islands, won a $6.6 billion arbitration award against the Nigerian government after the 2010 gas project collapsed.

The award accrued interest since 2013 and is now worth more than $9 billion.

According to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who spoke on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, the Federal Government has filed an application for the variation of the order by a high court in London.

He maintained that the ruling which would have converted the arbitration award and see P&ID seize the government assets has been appealed, including the ruling for conditional lodgement of the said amount.

“Nigeria has not paid and we filed an application for the variation of the order to allow us perhaps to consider the possibility of posting a bank guarantee against posting cash deposit.

“The order for the deposit for such amount of money and the appeal component is being considered at the superior court of record, but one thing I want to place on record is that Nigeria has not paid the amount in contention and has challenged the order as it relates to the posting of cash deposits,” Mr. Malami stated.

RELATED: P&ID Case: Investigation Shows That $301m Was Used For Under-Hand Dealings – Malami

The Justice Minister also stressed that the Federal Government has succeeded in putting up a case that the conditional lodgement of such amount should now be reviewed, a move he said, is being considered at the appellate level.

Stressing further, Mr Malami gave insight on what the Federal Government has done to ensure that such errors are not committed in subsequent deals.

Mr Malami said that a repeat of that will not occur in the Buhari-led Federal Government, as moves to tighten the processes have been developed and will be implemented henceforth.

“The first thing that has been done is to ensure that there are consequences for wrongdoing and those elements in respect of which investigations have been concluded, were charged, arraigned before the court and convicted.

“As well, we have taken steps to tighten our processes with particular reference to ensuring that things are done rightly; if a company is coming to establish a project in Nigeria, relevant associated permits and approvals must be obtained.

“If certain structures are being placed, there must be evidence of land acquisition, if an agreement is needed involving the government and its interest, that agreement must be allowed to pass through the process of vetting in the office of the Attorney General by the relevant departments and then if indeed the draft agreement is okayed, it has to pass through the Federal Executive Council for consideration, deliberation, and eventual approval before committing the government in the process,” the justice minister added.

The AGF also clarified that the Federal Government has secured a three-leg victory in the P&ID case and there is no iota of truth that the moves in response to overturn the judgment are slow.

Nigeria on September 3, secured a landmark victory in its pursuit to overturn a $10 billion judgment awarded against it in a case against P&ID in a failed gas deal in 2010.

P&ID Case: Investigation Shows That $301m Was Used For Under-Hand Dealings – Malami

 

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said that ongoing investigation has revealed that about $301 million was given as under-hand dealings to some persons in a bid to hide the illegality of the Process and Industrial Developments (P&ID) gas supply and processing deal.

The Federal Government, during the administration of Late President Umaru Yar’adua in 2010, signed a contract with P&ID to build a gas supply and processing plant in Calabar, Cross River State capital, a contract the President Muhammadu Buhari government has said is a result of fraud and corruption.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, Mr Malami stated that the latest ruling of a court in the United Kingdom, overturning a $10 billion judgement awarded against it, is a result of the progress made from the investigation.

Mr Malami stated that some principal characters that were investigated have been arraigned and there have been certain convictions recorded.

He added that within the government employ, some retired staff have been alleged to benefit from the deal and the investigation will reveal their level of involvement.

“As much as I wouldn’t want to be pre-emptive, the fact still remains that at the local level, some of the principal characters were being investigated, and some were not only investigated but were arraigned and then there were certain convictions recorded.

“Within the official cycles of government, some have retired, and they are being alleged to have been involved in under-hand dealing as it relates to within the region of $301 million.

“The investigation has re-affirmed the fact that there were certain under-hand dealings to the tune of $301 million,” Mr Malami stressed.

READ ALSO: Rivers Govt Warns Organised Labour Against Disobeying Court Order

The Justice Minister added that the Federal Government is still carrying out more investigations beyond the shores of the country because further findings show that the contract which was signed in 2010, did not follow due diligence.

“There were arraignments, there were convictions and indeed, monies were established to change hands as a basis for inducement that eventually resulted into compromises on processes, compromises on the procedure and then, failure on the part of the officials of government to do the needful in terms of ensuring that the interest of the nation is protected.

“The due diligence relating to P&ID was not adequately undertaken as at the time of signing the agreement, but arising from the investigation, we have taken time to conduct and expand our investigative capacity to other jurisdiction inclusive of the US and there is nothing establishing greater financial strength capacity on the part of P&ID right from the onset either in Nigeria and the Virgin Island.”

Giving a further breakdown of the contract, Mr Malami maintained that the agreement was not allowed to pass through the office of the Attorney General, while associated approvals and permits were not obtained from the Federal Executive Council and the Department of Petroleum Resources.

He stated that the arbitral proceeding claiming that Nigeria should pay P&ID $6.6 billion as damages, as well as pre- and post-judgment interest at 7 percent, amounting to $9.6b judgment plus interest, is a result of fraud and corruption.

I Don’t Need ‘More Powers’ To Supervise EFCC, Other Agencies, Says AGF

Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.
Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made an appearance on Channels Television on June 30, 2020.

 

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said he does not need the tinkering of the current Economic and Financial Crime (Establishment) Act 2004 to enable him regulate the institution and could therefore not, in any way, seek to sponsor any bill for “more powers to control the commission”.

The AGF was quoted to have said this in a statement issued by the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday 25th August 2020.

It also noted that the Attorney-General of the Federation has indisputable statutory powers to regulate the operations of the commission without recourse to any additional legislations.

Read Also: Rivers Govt Warns Organised Labour Against Disobeying Court Order

“Section 43 of the EFCC Act has made it abundantly clear that ‘the Attorney General of the Federation may make rules or regulations with respect to the exercise of any of the duties, functions or powers of the Commission under this Act’,” the statement read in part.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice believes in the doctrines of separation of powers as an epitome character of the democratic administration and could not, therefore, meddle into the affairs of the legislature for megalomaniac sake”.

Speaking further, Malami noted that it is a global practice in democratic societies that the legislature may at their discretion and as deemed fit, spearhead the amendment of existing legislation to accommodate certain exigencies occasioned by contemporary realities and the need to improve performance to achieve best practices without any prompting from external organs of the government.

The statement, therefore added that at the moment, the priority of the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice is to see to the effective execution of its statutory mandates of supervising all the parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Justice in a way that make them function in the best interest of the general public.