Malami, Tallen Attend FEC Meeting After Withdrawing Political Ambitions

President Muhammadu Buhari and Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

 

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, and the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen are attending the Federal Executive Council meeting a few days after withdrawing their political ambitions.

Malami was vying for the governorship position in Kebbi State while Tallen was vying for the Senatorial position in Plateau.

Before the commencement of the meeting which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, a minute silence was held in honour of the former Minister of communications under Gen. Ibrahim Babangida regime, Olawole Adeniji Ige, who died at the age of 83.

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

 

Those who were physically in attendance are the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo; Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; Head of Service of the Federation, Folasade Yemi-Esan; Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Munguno (rtd).

Other Ministers are also in attendance include; the Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Power, Abubakar Aliyu, Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello; Aviation, Hadi Sirika, Communication and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami; Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi; Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed; Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; that of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of State for Health, Olorunimbe Mamora; Agriculture, Mustapha Shehuri as well as Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba.

The President had on Friday, May 13 held a valedictory service for the 10 outgoing members of the Federal Executive Council seeking elective offices at a brief ceremony held at the Council chamber.

 

Some of the cabinet members who attended virtually

 

 

FG Approves Procurement Of Lie Detectors, Night Vision Goggles For NDLEA

The Federal Government has approved the purchase of lie detectors and night vision Goggles for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

This was disclosed by the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.

READ ALSO: Abuja-Kaduna Train Attack: ‘I Warned That Lives Will Be Lost’ – Amaechi

“Two memos were presented this afternoon by the federal ministry of justice on behalf of and at the instance of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA),” the minister said.

“One was a memo seeking the approval of the council for the award of contract for the supply of eye-scanning lie detector.

“Our technology has improved to the extent that we have in place technological equipment that has the capacity to detect whether you are indeed speaking the truth or indeed you are lying in the course of investigation.

“So, for the purpose of enhancing the capacity of the NDLEA in exterminating illicit drug trafficking, sales, and consumption, the Federal Government has considered the need and possibility of indeed providing this equipment to NDLEA.

“So, the memo in that respect was presented, it was taken and the contract was approved for Messrs Zettabytes Technologies Limited to procure for the agency this lie detector equipment.

“On that account, the Federal Executive Council approved the award of contract for the supply of eye-scanning lie detector by the NDLEA in favour of Messrs Zettabytes Technologies Limited in the sum of N498,850,000 only, inclusive of 7.5% VAT with a completion period of 90 days.

“The second memo sought the approval of the council for the supply of digital night vision goggles. This is intended to support the night operations of NDLEA.”

He said: “The council graciously approved the award of the contract with the supply of digital night vision goggles in favour of Messrs R-SET Integrated Solution Limited in the sum of N570,825,000 only, inclusive of 7.5% value-added tax with a completion period of weeks.”

Malami On Electoral Act: Deletion Of Section 84(12) Is Still Work In Progress

File photo of the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami

 

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said that the deletion of section 84 Subsection 12 of the Electoral Act 2022 is still a work in progress and is being considered as such.

He said this while fielding questions from State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday.

According to him, while the possibility of appeal is not in doubt, government creators and the Law Reform Commission responsible for the codification and gazetting of the laws are collaborating with the Office of the Attorney General to ensure that any addition made to the law is in line with the provisions of the law.

READ ALSOCourt Orders AGF To Remove Section 84(12) From Electoral Act

Malami’s comments come a few days after the Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State, declared Section 84 (12) of the amended Electoral Act illegal and ordered the Attorney General of the Federation to delete the section.

President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier sent a letter to the National Assembly asking them to delete the section, arguing that it would deprive political appointees of their right to vote and be voted for.

Justice Evelyn Anyadike, while delivering judgement on the matter said political appointees could only resign 30 days to an election.

The Judge stressed that the section was unconstitutional, invalid, illegal, null, void, and of no effect whatsoever and ought to be struck down.

According to her, the section could not stand when it is in violation of the clear provisions of the Constitution.

In the suit marked FHC/UM/CS/26/2022, the judge held that Sections 66(1)(f), 107(1)(f), 137(1)(f), and 182(1)(f) of the 1999 Constitution already stipulated that appointees of government seeking to contest elections were only to resign at least 30 days to the date of the election. Justice Anyadike said any other law mandating such appointees to resign or leave office at any time before that was unconstitutional, invalid, illegal null, and void to the extent of its inconsistency to the clear provisions of the tenants of the law.

After the judgement, the plaintiff’s counsel, Emeka Ozoani, told newsmen that by this judgement, the National Assembly was not required to further make any amendments to the section.

He said the finality of the judgement was that Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act was no longer in existence or part of the Electoral Act.

However, the Senate on Wednesday debated the controversial ruling of the Federal High Court, an argument that saw lawmakers pitch their tents on various divides.

This comes barely one day after the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, had warned Nigerians, particularly lawyers, to be wary of making unguarded comments over judgments of courts.

The NBA in a statement issued by the president, Olumide Akpata, called on legal practitioners and the public to exercise restraint after the ruling in favour of the removal of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act with immediate effect.

Mr Akpata reiterated that there are legal and constitutional avenues to challenge unfavorable Judgments, adding that lawyers and the generality of Nigerians are therefore enjoined to explore these avenues rather than resorting to unwarranted and counterproductive attacks on Judges and the Judiciary.

He, however, insisted that the various courts across the nation should follow due process in the execution of their duties to mitigate any form of breakdown of law and order which is certain to occur when the generality of Nigeria ultimately loses confidence in the court system.

Treat Obiano With ‘Due Civility,’ Anambra Traditional Rulers Tell EFCC

Obiano was arrested hours after he handed over power to Governor Soludo.

 

The Anambra State Council of Traditional Rulers has condemned what it claimed as the inhuman treatment meted out to the immediate past governor of the state, Willie Obiano, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). It called on the agency to treat Obiano rightly. 

The traditional rulers made the comment in a statement signed by its chairman and the Obi of Onitsha, His Royal Highness, Nnaemeka Achebe. According to them, the video of the outgone governor wearing a boxer in the anti-graft agency’s custody is shocking and does not befit a person of such status.

“We are equally disturbed that such a video clip found its way out of the highly secure environment of the EFCC onto the social media, obviously, with the intent of causing maximum embarrassment to Chief Obiano and, by extension, the people of Anambra State, whose governor he was until three days ago on 17 March 2022,” the traditional rulers said.

“Therefore, the Anambra State Traditional Rulers Council, on behalf of all traditional rulers of  Anambra State, calls on the EFCC to treat Chief Obiano with due civility and immediately restore him to his personal comfort whilst expeditiously working to conclude its investigation,” they added.

READ ALSO: Obiano Yet To Meet Bail Conditions, Arrest Not Political – EFCC

They also called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), to call the EFCC  to order.

Earlier in the day, the agency said the former governor is yet to meet bail conditions. It also refuted claims that Obiano’s ordeal was politically motivated.

EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, said this at the opening of the 5th Annual General Assembly of the Network of National Anti-Corruption Institutions In West Africa (NACIWA) held in Abuja on Monday.

He confirmed that the anti-graft agency has since granted administrative bail to the former governor but Obiano has not met his bail conditions.

National Grid: SERAP Gives Buhari Seven Days To Probe Missing N11trn Electricity Fund

A photo combination of SERAP’s logo and President Muhammadu Buhari

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to “direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to promptly and thoroughly investigate how over N11 trillion meant to provide regular electricity supply has been allegedly squandered by governments since 1999.”

A statement signed on March 19 by the SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, said: “anyone suspected to be responsible should face prosecution as appropriate, if there is sufficient admissible evidence, and any missing public funds should be traced and fully recovered.”

SERAP also urged the President to refer to the International Criminal Court, all unimplemented reports of corruption in the electricity sector gathering dust on the shelves, and to arrest and surrender those named in the reports to the court for prosecution.

Read Also: NDLEA Arrests Man With 20.75kg Of Black Liquid Cocaine In Abuja

This follows the collapse of the national grid, which SERAP says has plunged the country into total darkness as generation capacity is said to have dropped to 2,000 megawatts with about 14 power plants shutting down.

“Nigerians have for far too long been denied justice and the opportunity to get to the bottom of why they continue to pay the price for corruption in the electricity sector–staying in darkness, but still made to pay crazy electricity bills,” Oluwadare said.

According to SERAP, the staggering amounts of public funds alleged to have been stolen over the years in the electricity sector have had catastrophic effects on the lives of millions of Nigerians, akin to crimes against humanity against the Nigerian people.

The organisation, therefore, stressed that an investigation into the allegations of missing N11 trillion electricity funds, the prosecution of suspected perpetrators and recovering any missing public funds would end a culture of impunity and subsequently address the persistent collapse of the electricity grid.

Court Orders AGF To Remove Section 84(12) From Electoral Act

A photo combination of Malami and a court gavel.

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia, Abia State has ordered the Attorney-General of the Federation to immediately delete Section 84 (12) of the amended Electoral Act.

Justice Evelyn Anyadike on Friday held that the section was unconstitutional, invalid, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever and cannot stand, as it is in violation of the clear provisions of the Constitution.

The section says: “No political appointee at any level shall be voting delegate or be voted for at the Convention or Congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election”.

In the suit marked FHC/UM/CS/26/2022, Justice Anyadike further stated that Sections 66(1)(f), 107(1)(f), 137(1)(f) and 182(1)(f) of the 1999 Constitution already stipulated that appointees of government seeking to contest elections were only to resign at least 30 days to the date of the election and that any other law that mandated such appointees to resign or leave office at any time before that was unconstitutional, invalid, illegal null and void to the extent of its inconsistency to the clear provisions of the Constitution.

Read Also: Electoral Act Amendment Request: FG Considering All Options Including Legal Actions – Malami

While signing the Electoral Bill into law last month, President Buhari had asked the National Assembly to delete section 84 (12).

President Buhari had argued that “Section 84 (12) constitutes a disenfranchisement of serving political office holders from voting or being voted for at conventions or congresses of any political party, for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election in cases where it holds earlier than 30 days to the national election”.

However, the Senate refused to consider the president’s request and threw out the bill seeking the amendment of the section, with lawmakers stressing that an amendment would be going against the civil service norms and would be injurious to the well-being of the society.

On Wednesday, the AGF said following the Senate’s refusal, the Federal Government will consider all other options available to it before a position will be taken.

Malami further explained that even though it is the responsibility of the lawmakers to legislate, if it becomes necessary, the government will exploit other options which will include either putting forward another request to the parliament for reconsideration, approaching the court, or accepting the law just as it is.

Addressing newsmen after the court sitting on Friday, Counsel to the Plaintiff Emeka Ozoani, (SAN) stated that by this judgment, the National Assembly is not required to further make any amendments to the section as the import of this judgment is that Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act is no longer in existence or part of the Electoral Act.

The Judge, thereafter, ordered the Attorney General of the Federation to forthwith delete the said Subsection 12 of Section 84 from the body of the Electoral Act, 2022.

Electoral Act Amendment Request: FG Considering All Options Including Legal Actions – Malami

President Muhammadu Buhari with Senate President Ahmad Lawan and Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila at the signing of the Electoral Act Amendment Bill in Abuja on February 25, 2022.

 

The Federal Government says all options available to it are currently being considered before a position will be taken on the Senate’s refusal to consider the request by President Muhammadu Buhari to delete section 84 (12) of the 2022 Electoral Act.

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, stated this on Wednesday during a briefing after the Federal Executive Council meeting.

He said that following the National Assembly’s rejection of the request, the Federal Government will consider either putting forward another request to the parliament for reconsideration, approaching the court, or accepting the law just as it is.

READ ALSO: Buhari Approves Reconstitution Of NBC Board

Malami further explained that even though it is the responsibility of the lawmakers to legislate, if it becomes necessary, the government will exploit other options available to it.

Channels Television had reported that while signing the Electoral Bill into law last month, President Buhari had asked the National Assembly to delete section 84 (12), which restricts sitting cabinet members from contesting for elective offices without resigning.

The president argued that “Section 84 (12) constitutes a disenfranchisement of serving political office holders from voting or being voted for at Conventions or Congresses of any political party, for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election in cases where it holds earlier than 30 days to the National Election”.

However, the Senate refused to consider the president’s request and threw out the bill seeking the amendment of the section with lawmakers stressing that an amendment of Section 84 (12) would be going against the civil service norms and would be injurious to the well-being of the society.

AGF Confirms Commencement Of Process For Kyari’s Extradition

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

 

The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has commenced the extradition process for the suspended police officer, Abba Kyari. 

This was confirmed in a statement by Malami’s spokesman, Umar Gwandu, on Thursday.  He said this followed the receipt of the request.

“The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice received the extradition request in respect of the officer in question.

“After thorough studies and reviews of issues regarding the application and components thereof, the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice processed the application and forwarded same to the relevant authorities for further necessary action,” the statement read.


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Hushpuppi: Nigeria Collaborating With US, Extradition Of Abba Kyari Considered – AGF
NDLEA Declares Abba Kyari Wanted For Drug Trafficking


Kyari was the poster boy of the Nigerian police until his recent travails. Credit: [email protected]_Towncrier

 

While adding that the extradition process is multi-faceted, he said the “submission of request from the concerned party to the relevant authorities constitutes one of such components”.

On Tuesday, Malami had filed an application before the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja for Kyari’s extradition. The application marked FHC/ABJ/CS/249/2022 was filed under the Extradition Act.

According to the AGF, the application followed a request by the Diplomatic Representative of the U.S. Embassy in Abuja.

The approval for Kyari’s extradition is the latest turn in the embattled officer’s case. He is wanted to stand trial for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering, and identity theft.

Kyari was accused of conniving with Instagram celebrity, Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi to commit the crime. In April, a grand jury had filed an indictment against him with the approval of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

According to the three charges filed against him and others, Kyari was alleged to have been part of a scheme led by Hushpuppi to defraud a businessperson in Qatar between November 2019 and April 2020.

The police officer’s alleged involvement in the scheme, court documents showed, was to aid the social media celebrity to detain one of the aggrieved conspirators based in Nigeria who threatened to spill the beans about the scheme.

In the wake of the accusations, the Nigerian Police Force suspended Kyari and stripped him of the leadership of the Intelligence Response Unit (IRT) after which a probe, marred with controversies, started.

Last month, Kyari was arrested after officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) declared him wanted for being a part of a drug cartel, a claim the embattled police officer refuted.

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja also rejected a bail application from Kyari, weeks after his detention.

Justice Ekwo in a ruling said the application had been overtaken by events following an order of a sister court (Justice Zainab Abubakar), granting the NDLEA’s prayers to detain Kyari for another 14 days to enable it to conclude its investigation.

According to the judge, the sister court, which gave the order in favour of NDLEA on February 22, was a court of coordinate jurisdiction. He, however, said, he was inclined to hear Kyari’s fundamental enforcement rights suit with the urgency it deserves after the expiration of the 14-day court order.

He subsequently adjourned until March 15 to hear his application on his fundamental right enforcement.

Among other demands, Kyari is praying the court to order his release on bail to help him take care of his deteriorating health condition. He told the court that he is suffering from “diabetes; high blood pressure and severe heart disease that may cause death”.

FG Approves US Request To Extradite Abba Kyari 

Kyari was the poster boy of the Nigerian police until his recent travails. Credit: [email protected]_Towncrier

 

Nigeria has approved the request by the United States for the extradition of suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Abba Kyari.

Kyari is wanted to stand trial for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering and identity theft.

He was accused of conspiring with a United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Nigerian, Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi to commit the crime.

A grand jury, last April 29, filed an indictment against Kyari with the approval of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), had on Tuesday filed an application before the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja for Kyari’s extradition.

The application marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/249/2022 was filed under the Extradition Act.

The AGF said the application followed a request by the Diplomatic Representative of the U.S. Embassy in Abuja.


RELATED

Abba Kyari: PSC Postpones Decision, Insists On New Panel To Conduct Fresh Investigation
Hushpuppi: Nigeria Collaborating With US, Extradition Of Abba Kyari Considered – AGF
NDLEA Declares Abba Kyari Wanted For Drug Trafficking


A photo combination of a deputy commissioner of police, Abba Kyari and alleged fraudster, Ramon Abbas, aka, Hushpuppi.

 

It is “for the surrender of Abba Alhaji Kyari, who is a subject in a superseding three counts indictment”.

In the affidavit filed in support of the extradition application, the AGF stated that he was satisfied that provision is made by the laws of the U.S. such that so long as Kyari has not had a reasonable opportunity of returning to Nigeria, he will not be detained or tried for any offence committed before his surrender other than the extradition offence which can be proved by the fact on which his surrender is sought.

He added that he was satisfied that the offence in respect of which Kyari’s surrender is sought is not political nor is it trivial.

The AGF also expressed satisfaction that the request for the surrender of Kyari was not made to persecute or punish him on account of his race, religion, nationality or political opinions but in good faith and the interest of justice.

He added that Kyari, “if surrendered, will not be prejudiced at his trial and will not be punished, detained or restricted in his personal liberty, by reason of his race, nationality or political opinions”.

The AGF said having regard to all the circumstances in which the offence was committed, it will not be unjust or oppressive, or be too severe a punishment, to surrender him.

Malami said he was also satisfied that Kyari has been accused of the offence for which his surrender is sought.

He noted that there was no criminal proceeding pending against Kyari in Nigeria for the same offence.

According to court documents, the three count-charge marked: 2:21-cr-00203-RGK, was filed on April 29, 2021, before the US District Court for the Central District of California, USA.

The charge filed along with the extradition application reads:

• Count one: Conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, carrying a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years;

• Count two: Conspiracy to commit money laundering, in violation of Title 18, United States Code Section 1956(h), carrying a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.

• Count three: Aggravated identity theft, and aiding and abetting that offence, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1028A(a)(1) and 2(a), carrying a maximum term of imprisonment of two years.

In the request for Kyari’s extradition, the U.S. Embassy stated: “On April 29, 2021, based on the indictment filed by the grand jury and with the approval of the United States District Court for the Central District of California, a deputy clerk of the court issued a warrant of arrest for Kyari.

“The arrest warrant remains valid and executable to apprehend Kyari for the crimes with which he is charged in the indictment.

“Kyari is wanted to stand trial in the United States for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, and identity theft.

“Kyari is the subject of an indictment in case Number 2:21-cr-00203 (also referred to as 2:21-MJ-00760 and 2:21-CR-00203-RGK), filed April 29, 2021, in the United States District Court for the Central District of California.”

SERAP Sues Buhari Over ‘Failure To Probe Alleged Misuse Of Security Votes By Governors’

A photo combination of SERAP’s logo and President Muhammadu Buhari

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari “over the failure to promptly and thoroughly probe allegations of systemic mismanagement of security votes by state governors since 1999, and to ensure the prosecution of those suspected to be responsible”.

The suit followed Buhari’s 2022 New Year Message in which he raised concerns about “the persistent insecurity in certain parts of the country,” and his promise in his 2015 inaugural speech to “check gross corruption and ensure that there is accountability at all levels of government in the country”.

In the suit number FHC/L/CS/189/2022, filed last week at the Federal High Court in Lagos, SERAP is seeking: “an order of mandamus to compel President Buhari to direct Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to probe allegations of systemic mismanagement of security votes by state governors since 1999”.

SERAP is also seeking “an order of mandamus to compel President Buhari to direct Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) to prosecute anyone suspected to be responsible, as appropriate; if there is sufficient admissible evidence, and to recover any mismanaged public funds”.

READ ALSO: [Electoral Act] Buhari Institutionalising Credible Elections in Nigeria – APC

In the suit, SERAP is arguing that “Compelling the Federal Government to probe the spending of security votes since 1999 would ensure accountability, and improve the ability of the government to deliver on the promises to ensure the security of Nigerians, and to keep them safe”.

SERAP is also arguing that “It is in the interest of justice to grant this application. Ending impunity for allegations of corruption in the spending of security votes and recovering any mismanaged public funds are matters of public interest”.

It maintained that “the responsibility to guarantee and ensure the security and welfare of the Nigerian people is interlinked with the responsibility under Section 15(5) of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999 [as amended] to ‘abolish all corrupt practices and abuse of office.’ This imposes a fundamental obligation to ensure accountability for the spending of security votes by state governors”.

Also, the agency said, “The government has the primary and constitutional responsibility to protect the lives and property of the Nigerian people. Section 14(2)(b) of the Nigerian Constitution provides that ‘the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government’”.

SERAP further said “Pervasive tendency by public officers since 1999 to regard or treat security votes given to them for [the] security of the state as their personal entitlement or funds is antithetical to the Nigerian Constitution and international standards”.

“Security votes should be used for improving the security situation in the states or returned to the public treasury,” it added.

Joined in the suit as Respondent is Mr Malami.

The suit filed on behalf of SERAP by its lawyers Kolawole Oluwadare and Ms Joke Fekumo read in part: “Longstanding allegations of mismanagement of security votes have hugely contributed to the growing insecurity in the country, and the failure to ensure the security and welfare of Nigerians.

“As revealed by a recent report by Transparency International (TI), most of the funds appropriated as security votes are spent on political activities, mismanaged or simply stolen. It is estimated that security votes add up to over N241.2 billion every year. On top of appropriated security votes, state governments also receive millions of dollars yearly as international security assistance.

“Articles 5 and 9 of the UN Convention against Corruption impose legal obligations on the government to ensure proper management of public affairs and public funds, and to promote sound and transparent administration of public affairs.

“While sitting state governors may enjoy immunity from arrest and prosecution, they do not enjoy immunity from investigation. Any allegations of mismanagement of security votes against sitting governors can and should be investigated pending the time they leave office and lose immunity.”

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Amaechi, Malami Sued Over Alleged Unlawful Award Of N91.7bn Rail Line Contract

A photo combination of Amaechi and Malami.

 

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN) have been dragged before a Federal High Court in Abuja over an alleged unlawful award of 190 km rail line construction to a Chinese firm without due process of law.

They were sued along with the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the benefitting firm, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC).
Plaintiffs in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1426/2021 Duluidas Nigeria Limited, Duliz Dredging and Construction Limited and Consortium of Duluidas Nigeria Limited, Duliz dredging and Construction Limited/Hebbelyixin Fastener Company Limited, China.

In their writ of summons issued by their lead counsel, James Okoh, the plaintiffs are asking the Federal High Court to cancel the letter of “no objection” issued by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) in favour of CCECC for the award of the N91.5bn rail line contract in breach of procurement laws and re-issue same in their favour.

READ ALSO: Lagos Red And Blue Line Rail Projects Will Be Completed Q4 2022 – Sanwo-Olu

The disputed contract is for the reconstruction of the narrow gauge track from Minna in Niger State to Baro with an extension to the Baro River Port at a whopping sum of N91.5 billion and a completion period of 36 months.

The plaintiffs prayed the court for an injunction restraining the defendants from awarding or purporting to award the contract to the Chinese firm or any third party on the basis of the flawed bidding process.

In the alternative, they sought an order setting aside any purported award on the basis of the flawed and heavily compromised bid process by the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) with the concurrence of other defendants.

They also asked for an order restraining the minister of transportation or any of his agents from presenting the CCECC to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the purpose of the award of the contract.

In the same way, they are asking the court to set aside any purported approval received from the Federal Executive Council awarding the disputed contract to any other company during the pendency of the suit.

The plaintiffs, who claimed to have quoted a lesser amount of N76.7 billion for the execution of the same project during their successful bidding, are alleging bias against them by the minister and undue favouritism in favour of the CCECC in the contract award.

They alleged that the minister on May 19, 2021, wrote the BPP for a certificate of no objection in favour of CCECC in the sum of N91, 580, 101, 710 and that by a letter of June 9, 2021, BPP rejected the minister’s request on the claim that such certificate can only be issued to them on the basis of their quotation of N76.7b to execute the job.

They asserted that along the line, other bidding processes were manipulated and compromised leading to receipt of an acceptance letter by the NRC from CCECC for the minister to be presented to the federal executive council for the purpose of the award of the contract.

Plaintiffs, therefore, prayed the court to make a declaration that the action of the minister and his agents in interfering with due process of the bid process for the contract damaged the integrity of the process of law. They also want the court to declare that the minister and his agents were biased in their assessment of the bidding in favour of the CCECC.

Plaintiffs applied for order of injunction against the minister, his ministry and the CCECC from continuing with the award of the contract and execution of same on the basis of a flawed process.

In the alternative, they sought general damages to be quantified against the defendants on a compensatory basis and compound interest for loss of use of money.

Meanwhile, a hearing in the matter has been fixed for February 17, 2022, by Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed.

Magodo Dispute: Malami Takes Exception To South-West Governors’ Insinuation Of Impunity

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

 

The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, says he “takes exception” to the reaction of South-west governors to the Magodo land dispute.

The Minister in a statement on Wednesday said he takes exception to the “Southwest Governors unjustifiable insinuation of impunity against the office of the Attorney General over the execution of a judgment of the Supreme Court.”

He added that the role of the executive is, in this respect, simply to aid the maintenance of law and order in due compliance with rule of law arising from giving effect to the judgment of the apex court of the land.

READ ALSO: Magodo Dispute: South-West Govs Fault Police Officer Who Defied Sanwo-Olu’s Order

The southwest governors had earlier in a statement condemned the disrespectful act of a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) who publicly defied the order of the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to vacate the Magodo Phase II Estate along with his men.

In the statement, which was signed by Ondo governor, the governors condemned, “in very gross terms, the role of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami SAN in this act of gross moral turpitude.”

 

Find below the full statement by the Minister, reacting to the governors …

It is important to state that the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation belongs to the Executive arm of the Government. The Supreme Court belongs to the Judiciary.

The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice takes exception to the Southwest Governors unjustifiable insinuation of impunity against the office of the Attorney General over execution of a judgment of the Supreme Court.

The role of the executive is, in this respect, simply to aid the maintenance of law and order in due compliance with rule of law arising from giving effect to the judgment of the apex court of the land.

Let it be known that the issue is regarding a Supreme Court Judgement that was delivered in 2012 long before the coming of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in office at a time when Malami was not a Minister.

The judgment was a reaffirmation of the judgments of Court of Appeal and High Court delivered on 31st December, 1993.

The Press Release came to us as a surprise. We see it as a vituperation of ulterior motives of some political class who derived pleasure in dragging the name of Malami in the mud to achieve some sinister objectives.

It is widely reported in the papers that the Lagos state Governor was quoted to have said “I’ve spoken extensively with the Inspector-General of Police and the  Honourable Attorney-General, and we’ve resolved all the issues”.

The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, would appreciate if the coalition of the Governors will help to unravel the circumstances preventing the Lagos State Government from enforcing the court order despite several attempts from 2012- 2015 and so-called settlement initiative started in 2016.

Some of the cardinal pillars of democratic Government are the doctrine of separation of powers and obedience to the rule of law inclusive of Court Orders.

It is a common knowledge that execution of the judgment and orders of Courts of competent jurisdiction, and the Court of last resort in the circumstances remains a cardinal component of the rule of law and the office of the Attorney General wonders how maintenance of the law and orders in the course of execution of the judgment of the supreme can be adjudged by imagination of the governors to be unruly.

We want restate that sanctity of the rule of law is not a matter of choice.

 

Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu

(Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice)

Wednesday 5th January, 2022