2019: AGF ChargesJudicial Officers To Imbibe Professionalism On Electoral Matters InspiteChallenges
The HonourableAttorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has said judicial officers must always strive to exhibitprofessionalism, impartiality and courage in the discharge of their officialresponsibilities inspite the challenges they might face during the electoralperiod and thereafter.
This is contained in a press release made available to newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, Special Adviser to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN revealed that the AGF made the statement at the on-going 2018 Annual General Conference of the Law Officers Association of Nigeria (LOAN) on Monday in Abuja.
In his goodwill message titled, “The Law Officer as an Unbiased Umpire amidst Economic Challenges and Realities Towards the 2019 General Elections”, Malami pointed out that, “.… it aptly captures the role of the law officer in the national effort to consolidate democracy and the rule of law in our country”.
The AGF represented by the Director, Law Reporting, Federal Ministry of Justice, Martins Okoi said, ’’As we prepare for the 2019 general elections, which is another watershed in our journey to nationhood, those qualities will be tested often and often again as law officers proffer legal advice at various levels and also defend the public interest in election-related litigation.
“It is of course indisputable that law officers faces challenges, including economic, every day in the course of his duties like other members of the public. He must however never compromise on his ethics on account of such challenges, no matter how severe they might appear’’.
The minister explained that 2018 marked the first full year of the implementation of a regime of ‘Peculiar Allowances’ which has substantially improved the take-home pay of the legal officers. He expressed satisfaction that the feat was achieved during his tenure as the AGF after over two decades of advocacy by his predecessors-in-office for presidential approval to achieve this level of enhanced welfare for their officers.
He promised to pursue other initiatives involving training and collaboration that would ensure that legal officers do their work in an atmosphere where welfare is given utmost attention.
“Law Officers however must remember that improved welfare also comes with expectations for improved services. They can therefore achieve this through greater dedication to duty, utmost commitment to the virtues of professional ethics and the Public Service Rules as well as devotion to self-development and skill acquisition”, he explained.
He charged the participants to explore means of improving the quality of Justice Delivery across Nigeria, urging the state governments to find it necessary to adopt the Administration of Criminal Justice Act as domestic legislation in order to gradually standardize and improve the quality of criminal justice administration in the country.
The Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata in his goodwill message highlighted some of the challenges confronting the Ministry. He listed some of them as delay in the payment of duty travel allowances (DTAs), late payment or non-payment of robe allowance, trainings, non implementation of 1994 circulars by some states.
He however assured that permanent solution is underway to address the issues so that law officers could rise above all the temptations and financial impecuniosity.
Also represented by the Director, Law Reporting, Martin Okoi, the SGF said, ”It must be noted that as they are gathered in this conference to deliberate on topical national issues as it affects their duties and responsibilities, especially now that 2019 general election is knocking at our doors, we must not allow sentiments and our teething challenges to becloud the sanctity of our oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the Federal Republic Of Nigeria, always remember that we have a tradition, a culture and of course an ethics that we must guide jealously, collectively we can make Nigeria great again”.
He congratulated the national executive members of LOAN for their doggedness at ensuring that the welfare of its members and protection of the rule of law remains non-negotiable irrespective of panoplies of challenges that comes their ways.
Also the former HAGF and Chairman of the Conference, Kanu Godwin Agabi (SAN), urged Malami to make use of officers in the ministry more and encourage them by ensuring that appropriate allowances are paid to them duly.
Agabi enjoined them to always work hard and be passionate enough in the discharge of their duties.
The National President of LOAN, Yusuf Abdullahi Abdulkadir in his welcome address explained that the conference is an annual event which commenced in 2015 by his predecessors, aimed at reviewing their performances and activities for the year, with a view to improve their skills, discuss all impediments to effectively discharge their duties and responsibilities.
He further explained that the forum provides enabling environment for them as a body to discuss their welfare and share their burden with Government and their most respected Attorney Generals collectively.
AGF says national anti-corruption strategy will guide stakeholders
The Honourable Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has said that National Anti-Corruption Strategy (2017-2018) would serve as a guideline and working tool for all stakeholders.
In a press statement made available to newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, Comrade Salihu Othman Isah, Special Adviser to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN disclosed that he stated this at the Maiden Annual Forum of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) on Monday in Abuja.
According to him, it would assist stakeholders to develop their own strategy with specifications on how best to actualize the full implementation of National Anti-Corruption Strategy.
The Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Mr. Dayo Apata in the keynote speech he delivered on behalf of the AGF, noted that one of the mandates of NACS is to ensure full implementation.
He reiterated that cooperation and collaboration of all stakeholders, civil society organizations and members of the public is needed for a successful implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy.
He equally charged the Attorneys–General of the States to key into scaling down process by way of activating the adoption and domestication of the NACS at the sub-national levels.
‘’Following the validation and adoption of the NACS and the subsequent approval by the Federal Executive Council, an Action Plan for implementation of the NACS was developed, validated and adopted by relevant stakeholders”, he revealed.
Malami further explained that the Monitory and Evaluation Committee was constituted and inaugurated, adding that a Framework for the Monitoring and Evaluation work tool and Reporting Template was also developed and adopted by stakeholders.
On his part, the SGF represented by Director, Legal Drafting Department, Mr. Hamza A. Tahir in his opening remarks, disclosed that the purpose of the forum is for the AGF to launch and present the National Anti-Corruption Strategy to the public and equally create and exchange ideas on the successful implementation of the NACS.
He added that the theme: Enhancing the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy was carefully chosen so as to ensure focus at the Forum.
Apata expressed gratitude to AGF and all the stakeholders for their support in the implementation of the NACS, urging the stakeholders and Nigerians never to relent in the fight against corruption because the battle requires perseverance.
The panelist at the forum were: Special Adviser to the President on Justice Reforms who doubles as Coordinator, Open Government Partnership in Nigeria, Mrs. Juilet Ibekaku Nwagwu, who lead the discussions, the Executive Director Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, Reverend David Ugolor, Mr Gandu Andrwe Maggi of the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation/ President M&E NACS Implementation and the Director, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Francis Usani and the UNODC Country Representative, Oliver Stolpe.
They spoke extensively on the most effective way to ensure the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy in order to reduce corruption to the barest minimum. However it was emphasized that prosecutors need to be protected and that Public Private Ownership is key in the implementation of NACS and robust reward system should be put in place. Also present at the forum are Attorneys-General of the States from Nasarawa, Kogi, Edo, Katsina, Imo, Gombe and Enugu, MDAs, stakeholders and civil society organizations from Federal and state levels.