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» » » » » » CSOs Demand Replacement of Attorney General To Boost Fight Against Corruption
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Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), led by the Say No Advocacy Group, have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to relieve and replace the current Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami so as to salvage the fight against corruption and recover public confidence and support for the fight against corruption.

The CSOs include African Centre for Media and Information Literacy, Action Aid Nigeria, Connected Development, Lawyers Network Against Corruption, Social Action, Keen and Care Initiative, Civil Society Advocacy Centre, The Cable, Protest to Power, Say No Campaign, Yes Project and YIAGA Africa.

The CSOs who made the call, while briefing Newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, further called on the President to consider separating the office of the AGF from the Minister of Justice to avoid conferring such enormous power to an individual.

In their words
“As President Buhari prepares for the swearing-in and commencement of his second term on May 29, 2019 Civil Society Organization’s advocating on anticorruption and accountability in Nigeria, hereby call on President Buhari and Vice President Osibanjo to consider immediately relieving and replacing the current Attorney General of the Federation Mr Malami in order to salvage the fight against corruption.
The CSOs recalled the Ministers role in the fraudulent reinstatement of the former Chairman of the Pension Task Force, Abdulrasheed Maina who was wanted on allegations of corruption into the Civil Service Commission.
“We recall the shady deal involving the minister which led to the approval for payment of a highly controversial and contentious payment of $17m (N6billion) to two lawyers for an already concluded deal on the repatriation of the Abacha loot from the Swiss Bank
They also recalled that Malami had been fingered in the suspected attempt to frustrate the investigation and prosecution of the Director General of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission for alleged involvement in the diversion of about N2.5billiom among others.

The CSOs urged President Muhammadu Buhari to reconfigure his fight against corruption by ensuring people with questionable characters are not appointed to sensitive positions capable of curtailing the independence of key anti-corruption agencies and the fight against corruption
“That the President considers separation of the office of the AGF from the Minister of Justice to avoid conferring such enormous power to an individual and distance himself from suspected corrupted officials by not defending them and by holding the independence of key anti-corruption.
They also called on the President to order immediate commencement and or continuation of the prosecution of outstanding high-profile corruption cases including members of his political party and his appointees including the former SGF, Babachir Lawal.
“That Mr President insist on accountability of anti-corruption agencies including the CCB/CCT, EFCC, ICPC and others involved in prevention, investigation and prosecution of corruption to ensure probity and accountability”
The CSOs observed that almost twenty years since the return to democracy, widespread corruption have continued to impede development and threaten democracy in Nigeria.

They observed that 
“while the past three years had witnessed renewed vigour in the fight against corruption, with injection of political will at the highest level of the administration, introduction of financial and administrative policies to improve transparency and accountability, the attitude and body language of the government in the scandals involving former Secretary General of the Federation, Babachir Lawal  and the Kano State Governor, Ganduje left nothing to be desired”.

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