Rethinking Malami’s milestones in 2021 | Dailytrust

Rethinking Malami’s milestones in 2021

By Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu 


The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) 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 relentlessly in ensuring the attainment of the cardinal objectives of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.  

In the year 2021, as always, Malami was preoccupied with public-interest national assignments and international engagements geared towards enhancing the fortunes of Nigeria.    

Enumerated below are points of what could be considered as marvelous milestones recorded by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice in 2021.  

1. Proscription of banditry  

As a demonstration of commitment to ending 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 under the rule of law.

2. Halting money laundering, terrorism, and illicit financing 

In a bid to address the challenges of money laundering and terrorism financing, the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) facilitated the move by the Federal Government of Nigeria to indicate its willingness to join the membership of the global Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog.  

The FATF monitors 39 member countries to ensure full and effective implementation of FATF Standards thereby holding nations that do not comply accountably.  

3. Return of loots connected to the family of James Ibori  

Following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for the repatriation of the Ibori loot on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria by Malami and the British High Commissioner, Catriona Laing, the sum of 4.3million Pound connected to the family of James Ibori were returned to the federal government on 10th May 2021.  

The development, according to Malami, was a demonstration of the recognition of Nigeria’s reputation earned through the record of management of recovered stolen Nigerian assets in the execution of public-oriented projects.

4. Identifying, blocking, prosecuting, and halting Boko Haram financiers

In addition to the fight against corruption, crushing banditry, and combating terrorism, President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration is also determined and committed to prosecuting anyone found wanting or connected to the sponsorship of Boko Haram Terrorists. 

 On this note, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) 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 an 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.

5. Resumption of Nnamdi Kanu’s trial

Through the 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 to face his trial. Mr Kanu and his co-defendants were facing treasonable felony charges at the Federal High Court in 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 has also informed Nigerians of the atrocities committed by the IPOB when they unleashed mayhem in the country. 

6. Exposing the sponsors of the separatist movement

At a press conference in October 2021, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister, Malami revealed that an investigation has discovered a federal lawmaker and another major sponsor of Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Igboho.

Malami said the investigation unraveled how Igboho got monies from 43 bank accounts, across nine banks. The report shows the link between the separatists’ agitators and terrorism across the country. 

7. Advancing international cooperation

In the effort to bring lasting peace at the Lake Chad Region, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Malami said the Federal Government of Nigeria has vowed to partner in the collaborative efforts to see to an end the multidimensional crises facing the Lake Chad Basin states. 

The minister has been engaging in international cooperation assignments connected to the United Kingdom, United States, Egypt, Cameroon, China, the Gambia among others.   

8. Global showcase of Nigeria’s anti-corruption crusade  

Speaking at the annual public lecture in New York organized by the Centre for Media and Peace Initiative, 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, the establishment of institutions and policy measures targeted at combatting corruption, regional corporation and ensuring good governance for the benefit of citizens”.

According to him, the outstanding successes recorded in the fight against corruption, especially in the international asset recovery could be a template for other African countries in the fight against corruption.

9. Supporting reforms in the Defence and armed forces of Nigeria

To ensure a better Nigeria, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Malami, pledged enormous support in providing the legal backing for the immediate implementation of reforms strategy 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 defence and security architecture is crucial and a necessity considering the heightened level of insurgency and other internal and external threats.   

10. Commitment to end impunity, crimes against journalists  

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Malami, has reassured the 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 (MCN) program of the British Council Tuesday 2nd November 2021 held in Abuja.  

11 Unwavering stance to recover loot stashed abroad

Malami pointed out that the federal government had identified at least many stolen funds which the government was determined and committed to recovering from different countries of the world. 

“We are looking to recover further about USD2 billion among others, but then, that does not mean to say that no other associated assets are being pursued in other countries of the world, including Ireland and other countries,” he said.  

Dr Gwandu is the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations to the Minister of Justice. 

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