HURIWA blacklists AGF Malami as anti-democrat

May 8, 2019
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An association in the civil society environment, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has blacklisted the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN, as the worst minister of justice since Nigeria’s independence in 1960. The group stated that the minister has, thus, registered his place in the national black book of anti-democratic forces in Africa.

HURIWA attributed the rising crime wave and violence leading to breakdown of law and order in the country to the promotion of impunity by the Presidency at the highest levels of government which is widely perceived in the poor quality of legal briefs the President receives from the chief law officer.

Other persons HURIWA listed in the national black book of anti-democratic forces include Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Yakubu Mahmud, for conducting the most corrupt and manipulated elections in the world in the 2019 general elections; the past Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris Kpodum, the past Director General of the Department of State Services, Lawal Daura, who was sacked for attempting to overthrow the  constituted authority of the National Assembly.

HURIWA in a statement jointly signed by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss. Zainab Yusuf, lamented that the destabilization of the independence of the judiciary culminated into the illegal removal, through a rigged process, of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen. The group decried that the process was flawed, which reflected a choreographed trial by the ethically challenged Code of Conduct Tribunal chairman.

The group further protested that the continued detention against clearly issued binding court orders for the release of the former National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (rtd); leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Shelk Ibraheem El Zakzaky, and his wife; as well as the failure to reconstitute the governing board of National Human Rights Commission for two years, showed that the holder of the high office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, is not a fit and proper person to hold such a high office of the Chief law officer of the nation in line with the relevant sections of the constitution.

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HURIWA remarked: Section 174 states thus:

1)    The Attorney-General of the Federation shall have power

a)    To institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court of law in Nigeria, other than a court-martial, in respect of any offence created by or under any Act of the National Assembly;

b)   To take over and continue any such criminal proceedings that may have been instituted by any other authority or person; and

c)    To discontinue at any stage before judgment is delivered any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by him or any other authority or person.

2)    The powers conferred upon the Attorney-General of the Federation under subsection (1) of this section may be exercised by him in person or through officers of his department.

3)    In exercising his powers under this section, the Attorney-General OF THE Federation shall have regard to the public interest, the interest of justice and the need to prevent abuse of legal process.”

HURIWA argued that if President Muhammadu Buhari, who only became civilian president after over 35 years in the military institution, has been guided by a core professional lawyer who is tested and trusted, much of the constitutional crises we prevailing in the past four years would have been prevented.

HURIWA contested that the fact that Malami was in charge when a kangaroo procedure was activated that resulted in the decapitation of the independence of the judiciary through the removal illegally of the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria to make way for a compliant head of the judiciary, is a muddy process that will remain the lowest point of our democracy.

HURIWA noted that the INEC chairman is in the infamous national black book of anti-democracy because he supervised the worst and most violent election in which the ruling party adopted crooked means to railroad itself into office.

The group lamented that the immediate past DG of DSS allegedly staged a coup against the National Assembly but due to impunity and lawlessness, the current federal government is protecting him from facing the full weight of the law. The failure to reconstitute the governing board of the National Human Rights Commission demonstrates the poor appreciation by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration of the strategic place of human rights promotion and protection in the running of constitutional democracy.

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