- Nigeria's chief law officer, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has been on the wrong side of the law severally
- A Civil Society Organisation, Say No Campaign, has accused Malami of sabotaging the anti-corruption campaign of the federal government
- The group urged the president to be wary of persons to be appointed in sensitive positions like the Attorney General of the Federation
Civil Society Organisation, Say No Campaign, has accused the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) of sabotaging the anti-corruption fight of the federal government.
Ezenwa Nwagwu, co-convener, Say No Campaign, made the accusation at a round-table discussion on Redefining the Fight Against Corruption in Relation to the Office of the AGF on Tuesday, April 16 in Abuja.
Nwagwu said the AGF, instead of being the arrow head of the corruption fight, have been a clog in the wheel of progress of the Muhammadu Buhari's anti-graft policy.
He also called on the president to ensure that only credible persons are appointed to man relevant ant-corruption offices in his second term.
His words: “As a group, we felt it will be important to have a campaign around the kind of initiatives and people we should have going forward for the anti-corruption fight in Nigeria.
“In reality, we do not think that the current AGF has helped in the anti-corruption fight.
“If one organisation is leading the fight against corruption in my view it does not carry the kind of impetus that it should carry; so the aim of the round table is to deliberate on the way forward for the anti-corruption fight in the country.
“We are fleshing out some kind of initiative that can help us to reengage the anti- corruption fight not because it is a government initiative but as citizens of the country who bear the greatest brunt of corruption.’’
Also speaking at the event, Dayo Olaide, deputy country director, MacArthur Foundation, noted that Nigeria made some commendable progress in putting in place laws against corruption particularly in public sector administration from 1999 to date
He said there were no lack of anti-corruption agencies, but lamented that there was deficit of challenges in the anti-corruption fight in spite of existing laws.
He further lamented that there was lack of capacity to be able to enforce laws in the country, adding that if Nigeria is able to enforce even 10 per cent of the laws, the nation would be better for it.
On his part, Chido Onumah, coordinator, African Centre for Media and Information Literacy said the need for a credible AGF cannot be overlooked, stressing that it is at the heart of the anti-corruption fight.
“If you have an AGF that is interested in implementing the rule of law, it would have been easier for the anti-corruption fight,’’ he said.
He also lamented that anti-corruption agencies of government were working at cross purposes in the fight against graft.
Speaking to journalists at the end of the event, Jaiye Gaskiya, co-convener, Say No Campaign, said there is a political will from the federal government to fight corruption, but noted that there has not been enough traction in the anti-graft war.
His words: “There are certain institutions of government that are not playing their roles in the way and manner they are supposed to be doing.
“The ministry of justice for example, is supposed to be the overlapping agency to oversee question of rule of law in the country and anti-corruption comes under that along with impunity, but we have not seen.
“And in country where there is so much pervasive corruption, there is so pervasive impunity, what you need is an activist ministry that is an interventionist ministry, and the leadership of that ministry that is activist in nature.’’
Meanwhile, a recent media report indicates that President Muhammadu Buhari is weighing his options for a new cabinet ahead of the commencement of his second term in office.
He is said to be considering starting his second term on a fresh slate, sending home all the incumbent ministers except one or two of them.
President Buhari was criticized severally for not tinkering with his cabinet during his first term, even when it was obvious that many of them were so anonymous and under-performing, but the president kept faith with the ministers.
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