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.

FG Sues Turkish Airlines For Alleged Rights Violation

Court, Turkish Airlines, GovernmentThe Federal Government has sued Turkish Airlines before a Federal High Court in Abuja over an alleged criminal violation of the rights of some Nigerian passengers.

The government also indicted the company for violating the enabling law of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC).

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, filed a three-count charge against the airline as well as its Board Chairman, Liker Ayci and its Commercial Manager, Rasak Shobowale.

Untimely Delivery Of Baggage

In the charge, the Federal Government alleged that the three accused persons between December 20, 2015 and March 2016, “without sufficient cause, refused to provide the Consumer Protection Council documents on Turkish Airlines’ policy on delayed baggage,” thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 18 of the CPC Act.

The Federal Government also accused the airline and its two principal officers of violating the same section of the CPC Act by neglecting, without sufficient cause, to attend and testify before the consumer protection agency on the detailed steps taken by the airline to provide redress and compensation to passengers aboard its Flight 623 from Istanbul to Abuja on the said dates, who were affected by its untimely delivery of baggage.

The prosecution came on the heels of persistent refusal of Turkish Airlines to respond to lawful requests of CPC for a full situation report on the airline’s alleged shoddy treatment of passengers of Flight 623 from Istanbul to Abuja on December 25 and 31, 2015 as well as January 9, 2016, which prompted the council to approach the Justice Minister for the prosecution of the airline.

Corruption: FG Develops National Policy On Prosecution

national policy, corruptionAs part of efforts to stem the tide of corruption through speedy trial of suspects, the federal government has developed a national policy on prosecution.

The Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, announced the new policy at a meeting of attorney generals in Abuja where they converged from the 36 states of the federation to discuss how to improve the justice sector.

Mr Malami said that the adoption and implementation of the policy by state authorities will fast-track the prosecution of corruption and criminal cases.

The Minister appealed to states to accept the federal government’s vision of tackling corruption by establishing special anti-corruption units.

He advocated the restoration of public confidence in the justice sector through the speedy prosecution of cases.

The Country Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Cristina Albertin, also outlined the role of prosecutors in the fight against corruption.

At a separate meeting on the London summit on Anti-Corruption, the Minister of Justice pledged government’s commitment to accountability and transparency as a means of stemming corruption.

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, confirmed government’s resolve to run an open government just as the Deputy British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Simon Shercliff, advised political leaders to lead by example.

Senate’s Allegation Of ‘Coup Against Legislature’ Is Falsehood – AGF

Senate, Attorney-General, Senate PresidentThe Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has described as false, the position of the Senate alleging that the move to arraign the Senate President and his Deputy for forgery portends danger and is a coup against the legislature.

The Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki; Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu; former Clerk of the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa and Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly, Bernard Efeturi were scheduled to appear before the court on Monday, June 20, 2016 over allegations of forgery.

The Senate, in condemning the allegation, had said that it portends danger and indeed, a coup against the legislature with a view to cause a leadership change in the National Assembly.

The Senior Special Adviser to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr Salisu Isah, said that the insinuation that the action of the Attorney-General is an interference on the legislature by the executive arm on the affairs of the red chambers of the National Assembly; and therefore a violation of the principles of separation of powers as enshrined in the constitution is also regrettable.

According to Mr Isah, the allegations are totally untrue and baseless because the Attorney-General is well aware of the doctrine of separation of powers and its actions are borne out of the duty required of the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

He pointed out that the office of the AGF is empowered under section 174 (1) of the constitution and vested with the power to undertake and initiate criminal proceedings in any court of law in Nigeria.

He explained that by virtue of this power as the chief law officer of the nation, the AGF has simply initiated criminal proceedings for forgery against the affected principal officers in the Senate for altering the Senate standing rules in the Federal High Court and his actions can stand the test of any law since he did not act on a vacuum but on a recommendation by the Inspector General of Police.

He added that the Inspector-General of Police has fully satisfied investigative procedure arising from the petition sent to the Nigerian Police by some aggrieved members of the Senate.