…he can only be released after all legal angles within rule of law have been exhausted
…says Buhari’s govt has done well in its anti-graft war
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has explained why the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu cannot be released despite the court verdicts that set him free recently stating that within the context of the law Federal Government is justified in still holding him in custody.
Malami who explained this in an interview he granted a national daily said: “To release or not to release Nnamdi Kanu is a function of the law and the rule of law for that matter.
“In arriving at a decision whether to release or not release, one; you look at the rule of law, two; you look at the public and the national interest, three; you look at the security situation, and four; you look at international diplomacy.
“Let me first talk about the rule of law. This is someone that has been granted bail on account of charges that have been preferred against him at the court.
“To the international community, a case of fugitive is established against the background of bail jumping. Two, arising from national security, this is someone that is charged with treason, incitement of the public, destruction of civil authority, a kind of murder and assassination of others on account of his incitement. That boils down to issues that bother us on issues of national security and criminality.
“Three, on account of international diplomacy, this is someone that has turned against his person, using the international community or a foreign country to launch an attack against a nation, against his nation, for example for that matter.
“So all these naturally come into play to determine what you do. So, if you have equally gone through judicial processes, multiple cases, a case of treason, a case of homicide, a case of jumping bail, among others, the fact that you have indeed succeeded in one case as opposed to multiple others that are pending, goes to establish the fact that that case cannot be the only basis and criteria for determining whether you are entitled to be released or not.
“So the simple question is, whether what the Federal Government has done, by way of not releasing Kanu, is justified within the context of the rule of law, and my answer is yes; it is justified. This is because the single case that has been determined is not the only pending case against Kanu, as there are other multiple cases associated with treason.
“There exist multiple appeals that are pending and yet to be determined, and then again, there are international public interest dimensions, and the essence of the government is the sustenance of the public and not an individual interest.
Asked whether the Federal Government would have moved Kanu back to Kenya as ordered by the court, Malami said”When the cases are exhausted, when within the context of the rule of law and the decisions and conclusions are in his favour, the government will comply.
“But whatever option is open and available to the government, the government will exploit it within the context of the rule of law, within the context of the rights available at his disposal.
On what he has achieved as AGF, Malami said:”Well, it all depends of the perspective of which you look at it. If you look at it from the perspective of the fight against corruption for example, which is the major policy drive of the Federal Government under the Change Agenda that brought the Buhari administration into government, we have made tremendous achievements.
“Before we came on board you would recall that a single agency of government for example EFCC recorded around 160 records of convictions.
“Now, looking at it from what we have done in terms of enforcement as it relates to the fight against corruption, as at last week, within this year alone, we have over 2,665 convictions.
” So if you are looking at it from the point of enforcement, a government that succeeded within a year in securing 2,665 convictions by one single agency of government EFCC, even when you have in place additional convictions secured by Federal Ministry of Justice, NDLEA and ICPC, it is a clear proof of establishment of success in the field of enforcement.
“Now, if you’re looking at it from the international perception, international assessment of the situation, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes, UNODC, by its assessment of the Nigerian situation, assessing about 17 indices of the fight against corruption has established by its 2019 report that the Nigerian government has succeeded in multiplying its success in respect of about 17 items. I am talking of enforcement. Now if you are talking of international recognition as well arising from what our president has been doing as it relates to the Open Government Partnership, arising from what we have been doing as it relates to prevention, our president has been recognized as the champion of anti-corruption by African Union, AU.
“Now if you are looking at policies for example, what policies do we have in place that establish that we are indeed excelling in the fight against corruption?
“We have succeeded in deploying technology which has effectively worked well on the issues that bother on bank verification, treasury single account, national extractive industry and associated things, having in place executive orders particularly Executive Order No 6, which has indeed all summed up to support what we are doing.
” If you are looking at our success in terms of legislations, we can say that this is one government ever since the establishment of Nigeria as a country that has succeeded in having multiple legislative frameworks that support the fight against corruption.
” If you are talking of legislations and enforcement, we have succeeded in money laundry prevention and prohibition, Proceeds of Crime Act among others, Terrorism and Administration of Criminal Justice Act.