Magu Probe: Malami Denies Conspiracy To Witch-Hunt Anybody

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, has denied the allegation of conspiring to witch-hunt anyone.

Malami’s Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Dr Umar Gwandu, faulted the claim in a statement on Monday.

He was reacting to the comments made by a lawyer, Victor Giwa, who claimed that the minister ordered his arrest because he refused to implicate Ibrahim Magu, the suspended acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Giwa made the allegation in a statement on Sunday entitled, ‘Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN) Is Using Donald Wokoma, My Erstwhile Client Against Me For My Refusal To Testify And Indict Ibrahim Magu, Acting Chairman of EFCC, At The Justice Ayo Salami Panel Investigating The EFCC Boss’.

He explained that he was invited by the Justice Ayo Salami led panel, which is investigating the corruption allegations against the suspended EFCC boss, on August 18 and 19.

The lawyer, among many other claims, said he was asked to testify against Magu through an alleged conspiracy between the AGF and Donald Wokoma, a former special adviser to the Vice President whom he said he represented and secured a judgement in his favour.

But Gwandu described the allegation against the minister as ‘flimsy’, stressing that they were untrue.

According to him, Malami never met with Giwa and has never discussed any issue with Wokoma, nor asked anybody, personally or by proxy, to engage Giwa to testify against Magu.

Ibrahim Magu, EFCC Chairman, Senate
A file photo of acting EFCC chairman, Mr Ibrahim Magu.

 

The minister’s spokesman insisted that Malami, who did not set up the investigation panel to probe the suspended EFCC boss, was not saddled with any responsibility to procure witnesses for the panel.

“The Attorney-General of the Federation is never a member of the panel nor does it fall within the realm of the AGF’s authority to invite witness(es) for a presidential probe panel.

“The claim by Victor Giwa, Esq is therefore fictitious, unfounded and a figment of the imagination of mischief-makers who want to create unnecessary attention and tarnish the good image of the Attorney-general of the Federation and Minister of Justice and labouring incessantly these days, to falsely cast aspersion on the AGF’s hard-earned reputation,” Gwandu stated.

He, however, challenged Giwa to come and substantiate his allegation with details of when he met with the AGF on the issue, where they met, and how the meeting went.

Gwandu also asked the lawyer to answer whether the minister met him in person or sent a representative, in what capacity was the representative if there was any, and what the terms of their engagement were.

He asked Giwa to reveal what the purported offer to testify against Magu was, how it was made, as well as to name who the witnesses were.

Abacha’s Loot: Focus On Fund Utilization Not Rhetoric – Malami

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, has urged Nigerians to pay more attention on how the Abacha loot is being utilised other than focusing on rhetorics.

In a statement from the office of the Attorney-General, Mr Malami noted that most of what is being discussed in the media regarding the characterization of the Abacha recovered funds are needless.

Mr Malami argued that contrary to what some may believe, he has been describing the funds in question as ‘Abacha Loot’, but had to change the term because when the fund were legitimately repatriated, then it became an asset.

He urged Nigerians to focus more on the use of the funds rather than continue to engage in what he termed a contest of ‘verbal dexterity and vocal acrobatics’.

READ ALSO: Study The Budget And See What Abacha’s Loot Is Being Used For, Says Femi Adesina

Below is a full statement from the office of the Attorney-General.

Looted Funds Recovered By Buhari Administration Were Judiciously Utilised – Malami

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), says looted funds recovered by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration were judiciously utilized for high-impact public-oriented projects.

He was quoted to have said this in a statement signed on Tuesday 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.

According to the statement, Malami said the application of the fund was monitored by the World Bank and Civil Society Organisations in the areas of Social Investment Programmes including N-power, School-feeding and associated interventions overseen from the office of Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

“The money was judiciously applied for the purpose for which it was meant for and none of the parties; neither the Swiss government, nor the World Bank, much less of the Civil Society Organisation raised any question regarding reputation relating to the application of the funds,” he said.

Speaking further, the minister stated that looted funds expected from the United States of America and the Island of Jessy are yet to be received by the government, “so the issue regarding embezzlement or misappropriation of same is an imaginary illusion which does not even arise as the money has not yet been repatriated to Nigeria”.

“The role of the PDP relating to transparency and accountability over the looted assets can best be appreciated with particular reference to the 2003 agreement brokered by the PDP government and the question of liability and accountability raised by Falana can best be answered by the implications of the 2003 agreement,” he added.

Malami, therefore, noted that looted monies recovered before 2015 were substantially recovered by past governments that should be made to account on the application or otherwise of the funds.

Minister Of Justice Inaugurates Committee To Decongest Prisons Nationwide

FILE PHOTO: Enugu Prison

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has inaugurated an 18-man committee to fast-track prisons decongestion in the Nigeria.

The committee is chaired by the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory High court, Justice Ishaq Bello.

While addressing the committee in Abuja, the Minister describes the current states of prisons across the country as pathetic and a complete abuse of the fundamental human rights of the inmates.

He charged the newly inaugurated committee to work at ensuring that the number of inmates awaiting trials reduces drastically.

According to him, over 70 per cent of inmates in prisons across the country are awaiting trial, a situation he describes as an indictment on the Nigeria’s justice system.

Court Rejects AGF’s Request To Summon Misau

Isah Misau

The Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Justice Ishaq Bello has turned down a request by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister Of Justice, asking the court to issue a warrant summoning the Senator Representing Bauchi Central Senatorial District, Senator Isah Misau.

The office of the AGF had on October 10, 2017, filed two separate charges against Senator Misau for making false allegations against the Inspector General Of Police, Ibrahim Idris.

It will be recalled that the Federal Government through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, has filed two separate sets of charges against the Senator Misau prosecution accusing him of making “injurious falsehood” against Idris and the Nigeria Police Force.

Senator Misau is been accused of making a false statement claiming that about N10 billion is being received by the Inspector-General of Police on monthly basis from oil companies, banks, hotels and individuals as bribes for police protection.

The charge, which was endorsed by the AGF stated that “such false statement of fact would harm the reputation of Mr Ibrahim Idris, the serving Inspector-General of Police, the Nigeria Police Force and the Police Service Commission.

In a chamber sitting, counsel to the Federal Government told Justice Isaq Bello to issue a summon to compel Senator Misau to appear in court if he cannot be served by the police.

But Justice Bello said that the government cannot anticipate that the accused will not accept summons, he asked the counsel to first serve the Senator and then return to court with particulars showing whether he received the summons or not.

According to Justice Bello, it is too early for the police to start its case with hostility when it has not followed laid down rules of the court and the constitution. He then adjourned to October 19, to enable service of the case summon to Senator Misau.

AGF Challenges Lawmakers On Anti-corruption Fight

AGF Challenges Lawmakers On Anti-corruption FightThe Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, says things will continue to go wrong in Nigeria, until the three arms of government agree to fight corruption together.

The Minister said this while appearing before the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee probing allegations that $17 billion of undeclared crude oil and liquefied natural gas was stolen between 2011 and 2014.

Mr Malami who spoke on Tuesday in Abuja, also took a swipe at the legislature for not passing relevant bills before it.

“It is really sad and unfortunate that while we are contesting about uniform, we have not taken our time to address the passage of the relevant bills that have a greater impact on the fight against corruption.

“The executive on its own part, has presented the bill for the consideration of the National Assembly and it has remain there for long; no decision has been taken. Multiple issues come into play as far as answering the question of what went wrong is concerned.

“Until we get to a stage whereby we all cue into the idea of fighting corruption as a unit; the executive, legislature and the judiciary coming together and working together for the purpose of fighting corruption, things will continue to remain wrong and then we’ll definitely find it very difficult to make progress,” Mr Malami said.

Apo Killings: Families Protest Court Verdict, Urge AGF’s Intervention

Students Protest, Kwara StudentsThe family members of the six Igbo traders who were murdered in Abuja in June 2005 have staged a protest at the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice.

They registered their displeasure over the judgment of an Abuja High Court which sentenced to death, two out of the six police officers who were initially charged for their alleged complicity in the killings.

Leader of the aggrieved family members and Chairman of Apo Traders Association, Mr Chimezie Ifeh, stated their objection to the court’s decision on the matter.

He queried the propriety of the court judgment, saying “the real culprits of the gruesome murder of the Apo six traders have been left off the hook”.

Mr Ifeh urged the Minister of Justice to appeal the judgment and ensure that the perpetrators be brought to book.

The protesters were addressed on Friday on behalf of the Minister by the Director of Legal Drafting at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Tahir Hamzam.

Mr Hamzam assured them that the AGF would to look into the matter as he urged them to remain law abiding.

He also promised the protesters that the judgment would be studied while appropriate steps will be taken to address the issue.

EFCC Files Charges Against Shell, Eni, Nine Others

EFCCThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed a three-count charge of conspiracy and corruption against two multinational oil firms, Shell and Eni, for their roles in the alleged Malabu $1.1 billion scandal.

Nine others were also charged along with the two multinational companies before an FCT High Court in Abuja on Thursday.

Those charged alongside Shell and Eni are a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, and a former Minister of Petroleum, Dan Etete, as well as a businessman Aliyu Abubakar.

In the first count of the charge, Shell Nigeria, Nigeria AGIP Exploration Ltd., Eni S.p.A, a former Director of SNEPCO, Ralph Wetzels, two Italians who are former directors in AGIP, Casula Roberto and Burrafato Sebastiano, Douzia Louya Etete popularly known as Dan Etete, Mohammed Adoke, Aliyu Abubakar and Malabu Oil & Gas Ltd. allegedly conspired sometime in 2011 to commit an offence of official corruption.

In the charge sheet signed by Jonson Ojogbane for the EFCC, the offence was said to be contrary to Section 26 of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act of 2000 and punishable under Section 12 of the same act.

In the second charge, Dan Etete, Mohammed Adoke, Aliyu Abubakar and Malabu Oil & Gas were alleged to have corruptly received the sum of eight hundred and one (801) million dollars in respect of OPL 245 from Shell Nigeria, Nigeria Agip Exploration Ltd. and Eni S.p.A.

The new charges were said to be part of an international collaboration to ensure that all those who partook in the alleged $1.1 billion OPL 245 scandal were brought to justice.

The OPL 245 oil block is currently owned by the Nigerian Government after a temporary court order granted on the basis of an EFCC application.

Shell and Eni have since appealed the order asking that the block be returned to them.

FG Grants States Fiat To Prosecute Criminal Cases

Criminal CasesThe Federal Government has issued a general fiat to states to prosecute criminal cases on its behalf.

The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, made the disclosure on Thursday at a meeting of attorneys-general in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

Mr Malami also encouraged the states to adopt the National Policy on Prosecution and the National Guidelines on Prosecution, as a way of cushioning the many challenges bedeviling the Nigerian justice system.

He stated that the absence of smooth, speedy and effective justice administration had no jurisdictional limits or boundaries.

The Minister, therefore, noted that all hands must be on deck to improve the capacity of the judiciary to effectively and efficiently deliver justice to Nigerians.

The Attorney-General of Akwa Ibom State, Uwem Nwoko and his Benue State counterpart, Micheal Gusa, described the move as a step in the right direction.

They expressed hope that it would go a long way in addressing the many challenges in the Nigerian justice system.

$2.1b Arms Deal: FG Agrees To Consolidate Charges Against Dasuki, Others

FG, ECOWAS Court, DasukiThe Nigerian government has agreed to consolidate the criminal charges filed against the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and others.

They are standing trial before two different High Courts of the Federal Capital Territory Judiciary.

This is coming barely 24 hours after the ECOWAS court ordered the Federal Government to release Dasuki from the indefinite detention he had been kept in since December 2015.

The decision to consolidate the charges followed a complaint by the counsel to the former NSA, Mr Joseph Daudu.

ECOWAS-court
ECOWAS court says Colonel Sambo Dasuki’s detention is unlawful

Mr Daudu had argued that putting him on trial in two different courts on the same issues and subject would prejudice and cause him double jeopardy.

At the resumption of the trial, counsel to the Federal Government, Mr Rotimi Jacobs and that of Dasuki, Mr Dudu agreed before Justice Baba Yusuf to formally write the Chief Judge of the FCT judiciary, Justice Ishaq Bello, to consolidate the two charges in the interest of justice.

The two senior counsel applied to the trial judge, Justice Yusuf to adjourn the matter pending the time the Chief Judge would consider the application for consolidation.

Justice Yusuf obliged the parties and adjourned the case to the October 21, 2016.

Dasuki had been put on trial before Justice Yusuf and another charge was filed against him before Justice Peter Affen both of the FCT High Court on the same issue and subject.

Earlier, the Federal Government gave an indication that it would not immediately obey the ECOWAS court’s instruction to release Colonel Dasuki.

ECOWAS-court-lawyers
Lawyer at the ECOWAS court hearing

The government asked for time to study the Judgement.

The court on Tuesday ordered the release of Colonel Dasuki, describing the detention as “unlawful and an arbitrary violation of his fundamental human rights”.

The Federal Government had detained and seized property of the former NSA during Goodluck Jonathan’s regime for alleged money laundering and illegal possession of firearms.

Charges were brought against him by the Department of State Services (DSS).

The ECOWAS court also held that investigating Colonel Dasuki for allegedly committing or planning to commit a crime was not enough ground to detain him since December 2015.

However, the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on behalf of the government insisted that the Federal Government of Nigeria needed some time to study the content of the ruling before acting on it.

The government has also argued that it needed to fully understand the content of the court’s proceedings and judgement before reacting.

Mr Malami said: “We cannot just react. We will first of all study the judgement to understand its content before taking a stand”.

The Attorney General’s views were conveyed to Channels Television on October 5, by his Special Adviser on Publicity, Mr Salisu Isah.

Sambo-Dasuki-and-Muhammadu-Buhari
Colonel Sambo Dasuki claimed President Muhammadu Buhari was behind his continued detention

In February, Colonel Dasuki accused President Muhammadu Buhari of being behind his arrest and detention without trial since December 29, 2015.

Dasuki, who spoke through his counsel, Mr Joseph Daudu, claimed that President Buhari unjustly instigated his arrest and detention by the DSS against the bail granted him by three different courts in various criminal charges brought against him by the Federal Government.

He claimed that the President, through his comments on the presidential media chat in January 2016, confirmed that he was behind his ordeal.

In a further and better affidavit filed in support of his application at the FCT High Court, the ex-NSA claimed that the President betrayed his emotion during the Presidential Media Chat when he openly told Nigerians that he (Dasuki) and Nnamdi Kanu would not be allowed on bail because they would jump bail.

Family Alleges Foul Play In EFCC Suspect’s Death

EFCC, Desmond Nunugwo, JusticeFamily members of former Chief Protocol Officer to the Minister of State for Defence, Mr Desmond Nunugwo, have visited the Ministry of Justice to demand for justice over his death.

According to the deceased’s family, he died on June 9, 2016, after he was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for his alleged role in a 91 million Naira fraud.

Mr Malami had called for an independent inquiry into how he allegedly died in the EFCC custody.

Lawyer to the late Nunugwo, Paul Edeh, who led the wife of the deceased, Mrs Susan Nunugwo and other family members to the Ministry of Justice for an update in the matter, alleged foul play in his death.

They expressed confidence in the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, in ensuring they get justice.

However, they frowned at the attitude of the anti-graft commission and security agencies towards the matter.

Late Nunugwo, according to EFCC, was arrested for fraudulently obtaining 91 million Naira from an acquaintance after he allegedly tricked her into believing that he had high net worth business associates in Dubai, who were to buy NICON Insurance and convinced her of their disposition to help her stock fish business.

FG To Probe Alleged Death In EFCC Custody

EFCC, Abubakar Malami, Desmond NunugwoNigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, has called for an independent inquiry into how a former Chief Protocol Officer to the Minister of State for Defence, Mr Desmond Nunugwo, allegedly died in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

According to his family, Mr Nunugwo died on June 9, 2016, after he was arrested by the EFCC for his alleged role in a 91 million Naira fraud.

The lawyer to the family, Mr Paul Edeh, led relatives of the victim to the Ministry of Justice, where they had a private meeting with the Justice Minister.

Mr Edeh said that the Minister gave a directive that the issue be investigated and promised to get back to the family in a matter of days.

Wife of the deceased, Mrs Susanne Nunugwo, lamented that she had not been able to see the corpse of her husband since his death two months ago.

She requested that her husband’s name be cleared as he had been declared guilty by the EFCC and was no longer alive to defend himself.