June 10, 2023

Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami (SAN), yesterday waved aside speculations about a rift between him and Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Ibrahim Magu, on the handling of high profile criminal cases.

A recent letter from the office of the AGF directed the EFCC to forward files on about 35 high profile cases, involving ex-governors and other prominent individuals to his office for vetting and further directive.

The directive ignited speculation about a possible rift between the AGF and Magu, with many expressing doubt about the AGF’ true intention. Some even claimed the directive was a prelude to the AGF’s office’s eventual take over of the cases.

Speaking in Abuja yesterday, Malami said there was no rift between his office and the EFCC leadership.Malami, who was reacting to questions after an event held in his office, said he did not believe the letter to the EFCC was an evidence of a right between his office and the EFCC or that his office intended to take over the cases.

Malami spoke on a forthcoming “national summit on justice,” slated for August 8 and 10 in Abuja. He also unveiled the upgraded Federal Ministry of Justice’s website and Freedom of Information (FOI) Compliance portal.

Malami said the summit, to be attended by stakeholders in the justice sector, was intended to consider, adopt and validate the draft National Policy on Justice (NPJ), developed by a technical committee constituted by the Federal Ministry of Justice in 2016.

On the need for a national justice policy, the AGF said: “Given the challenges militating against an effective administration of justice and the peculiarity of our federal system, there is the need to harmonize and integrate the various reforms initiatives into a clearly articulated National Justice Policy.

“The policy is expected to clearly define Nigeria’s political philosophy with respect to justice delivery and provide a common direction for the justice sector stakeholders across the nation.

“The policy, in broad term, is expected to set out a common vision and provide the guidelines for promoting an effective justice system that guarantees the freedom of the people and socio-economic development of the nation.“This policy will therefore, serve as a policy framework upon which relevant institutions can situate regulations and legislation in line with best practices and principles,” Malami said.

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