Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, remains the cynosure of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government.
Malami’s conspicuous postures, legal acumen and administrative dexterity in the discharge of his statutory responsibilities depict him as a workaholic and an achiever minister who works relentless in ensuring the attainment of the cardinal objectives of the administration of President Buhari.
In the year 2021, as always, Malami was preoccupied with public-interest national assignments and international engagements geared toward enhancing the fortunes of Nigeria.
As a demonstration of commitment to end banditry and other forms of associated insecurity in the country, the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice filed an application for the proscription of bandits as terrorists.
The proscription shows the determination of the Federal Government to deal ruthlessly with the bandits and to do things in accordance with the rule of law.
In a bid to address the challenges of money laundering and terrorism financing, the office of the AGF facilitated the move by Federal Government of Nigeria to join the global Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on money laundering and terrorist financing.
The FATF monitors 39 member countries to ensure full and effective implementation of FATF standards, thereby holding nations that do not comply accountable.
Following the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the repatriation of the James Ibori loot on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria by Malami and the British High Commissioner, Catriona Laing, the sum of £4.3million connected to the family of Ibori was returned to the Federal Government on May 10, 2021.
The development, according to Malami, was a demonstration of the recognition of the reputation Nigeria earned through records of management of recovered stolen Nigerian funds in the execution of public-oriented projects.
In addition to the fight against corruption, crushing banditry and combating terrorism, President Buhari’s administration is also determined and committed to arraign and prosecute anyone found wanting or connected to the sponsorship of Boko Haram terrorists.
On this note, the AGF Malami worked assiduously and carried out a thorough and comprehensive investigation to prosecute all the financiers of Boko Haram.
“As far as terrorism funding and financing is concerned, we have succeeded in identifying those that are allegedly responsible for funding same and we are blocking the leakages associated with funding while embarking on aggressive investigation that is indeed impacting positively in terms of the fight against terrorism,” Malami informed journalist during the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, in September 2021.
Through combined efforts of stakeholders, the leader of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, was re-arrested and brought back to Nigeria in June 2021.
Kanu was brought back to face his trial. Kanu and his co-defendants were facing treasonable felony charges at the Federal High Court, Abuja, when he fled the country in September 2017.
The resumption of the trail has been applauded as another remarkable milestone recorded in the year 2021. The minister also informed Nigerians of the atrocities committed by the IPOB when they unleashed mayhem in the country.
At a press conference in October 2021, the AGF revealed that an investigation has discovered a federal lawmaker and other major sponsors of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Igboho.
Malami said the investigation unravelled how Igboho got monies from 43 bank accounts across nine banks. The report showed the link between the separatist agitators and terrorism across the country.
In the effort to bring lasting peace to the Lake Chad region, Malami said the Federal Government of Nigeria has vowed to partner in the collaborative efforts to bring an end to the multidimensional crises facing the Lake Chad Basin states.
Speaking at the annual public lecture organised by the Centre for Media and Peace Initiative, in New York, United States of America, Malami explained that “various steps have been taken (by the Buhari-led Federal Government) in terms of legislative frameworks, establishment of institutions and policy measures targeted at combatting corruption, regional cooperation and ensuring good governance for the benefit of citizens.”
In an effort to ensure a better Nigeria, the AGF pledged enormous support in providing the legal backing for the immediate implementation of reforms for national security architecture.
Malami made this known as he received members of the Presidential Implementation Advisory Committee for the Implementation of the Recommendations of the Reform Committee on Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces of Nigeria, adding that the review of the defense and security architecture is crucial and a necessity considering the heightened level of insurgency and other internal and external threats.
Malami has restated Federal Government’s unending support, dedication and commitment to end impunity for crimes against journalists.
Malami gave the assurance in his keynote address at “Policy Dialogue on Protection of Journalists” in commemoration of the “2021 International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists in Nigeria,” organized by the Federal Ministry of Justice, with the support from the Managing Conflict in Nigeria programme of the British Council, on Tuesday, November 2, 2021, in Abuja.
Malami pointed out that the Federal Government had identified at least many stolen funds, which the government was determined and committed to recover from different countries of the world.
•Gwandu sent this piece from Abuja