Attorneys General of the Federation and Ministers of Justice in Nigeria have to toil and travail through thorny terrains and are generally vilified in their quest to serve public interest while in office.
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN made this known in Sokoto on Monday while delivering a lecture “Justice Dispensation in Nigeria: Navigating Through Thorny Terrain” at the annual Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) legal week.
This is contained in a statement by Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and made available to newsmen.
“The task entrusted on the shoulders of whoever is the Attorney General of a nation so diversified and complex like ours, with responsibility for the maintenance of the Constitution and all Laws made by the National Assembly could be daunting and extremely enormous in view of public interest vis-à-vis conflicting interests of private entities,” he said.
Malami said this was the rationale for the Office being the only Ministerial position specifically provided in the 1999 Constitution.
In this wise, he said, Section 150 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) provides that there shall be an Attorney General of the Federation who shall be the Chief Law Officer of the Federation and a Minister of the Government of the Federation.
“I have modestly towed this same path of honour and will in the following paragraphs attempt to state some of our achievements and explain the challenges of carrying out the enormous responsibilities of the Office in National Interest while maintaining fair dealings with political associates, professional colleagues, and other stakeholders while ensuring that the public trust reposed in me is not destroyed but objectively sustained even when subjected to the public perception of other opinion shapers such as the Press, the Societal Elites, opposition Politicians and even the Non-Governmental Organizations,” he said.
Malami noted that during the P&ID he “sadly, as duty calls, I have also had to personally make Deposition on Oath before the English Courts on far-reaching allegations of fraud and corruption against a Senior Member of the Nigerian Bar; a Brother Silk! all out of attempts to promote public interest as against an individual or private interest”.
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