Revealed: Nigeria’s Attorney-General, Malami Sponsors Bill To Take Over, Stall Criminal And Corruption Cases To ‘Protect Crooks’

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Nigeria’s Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, is currently sponsoring a bill before the National Assembly to take over prosecuting and investigative powers of all the law enforcement agencies in the country.

SaharaReporters gathered that the move by Malami is to stall the prosecution of high-profile corruption and criminal cases in order to protect his allies from facing justice.

The bill tagged “The Prosecution Of Offences in Nigeria Act, 2017” if passed into law by the National Assembly will allow the office of the AGF to take over the conduct or discontinue criminal proceedings.

“Responsibilities to institute or take over the conduct of proceedings. Procedural requirements for taking over of criminal proceedings,” Part V of the bill seen by SaharaReporters read.

“Procedural requirements for discontinuance of proceedings. Discontinuance of proceedings after accused has been sent for trial.

“Assuming Conduct of prosecution by the Attorney-General. Review of prosecution powers of law enforcement agencies etc. Review of investigations conducted by law enforcement agencies.

“Power to conduct investigation. Power under the Extradition Act. Conduct of criminal proceedings by persons other than a Prosecuting Officer.”

Part V Section 20(1)(a)(b) further stated in part, “Subject to the exercise of the powers of the Attorney–General for public prosecutions under the Constitution and the provisions of other applicable laws, rules or regulations and notwithstanding the provisions of Part II of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 on the control of criminal proceedings, the Prosecution Authority, under the directions of the Director shall, with effect from the date of commencement of this Act, be responsible for – conducting criminal proceeding against any accused person before any court in Nigeria in respect of any offence created by or under any Act of the National Assembly; taking over the conduct of criminal proceedings, instituted by any law enforcement agency, including the Police.”

Part V Section 24 is titled ‘Assuming conduct of prosecution by the Attorney-General’.

The section says, “Notwithstanding the provision of this Act, or any other power conferred on the Director under this Act or any other Act, the Attorney-General may after notifying the Director, intervene in the first instance or on appeal where, in the opinion of the Attorney-General, the proceedings raise questions of public interest.

“The Attorney-General may only assume conduct of a prosecution after consulting the Director on the matter and giving notice to the Director of his intention to assume conduct of the prosecution.

“On the receipt of the notice referred to in subsection (2) of this section, the Director shall turn the prosecution file over to the Attorney-General and provide any information that the Attorney-General may require on the matter within the time specified.”

SaharaReporters gathered that the bill is expected to be presented to heads of law enforcement agencies tomorrow (Tuesday, August 31, 2021) at a meeting convened by the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) Monitoring Committee Secretary, Sulayman Dawudu.

They are to be blackmailed, intimidated and forced to endorse the ‘satanic’ bill secretly sponsored by the AGF, a source told SaharaReporters.

“Malami to re-enact the surreptitious takeover of the prosecution of corruption cases in the country and return it to ground zero,” the source added.

“The publicly criticised bill on creation of public prosecution authority, prepared in 2017 has resurfaced within the government by the Ministry of Justice through its ACJA monitoring Committee, Secretary, Sulayman Dawudu.

“This bill purporting to take over all prosecuting and investigative powers of all the law enforcement agencies in the country is to be presented to the law enforcement agencies tomorrow Tuesday, August 31, 2021 at a meeting convened by the ACJA monitoring committee to blackmail and intimidate leaderships of the law enforcement into endorsement.

“The bill is in all intent, purposes and activities in contravention of international standards in the fight against corruption; it leaves the fight against corruption in the control and manipulation of a political appointee in the person of Attorney General; it creates another agencies with investigation and prosecution over and above trained law enforcement agencies; it conflicts with the laws establishing all the law enforcement agencies; and will frustrate and demoralise the law enforcement agencies.

“The Attorney General who had bared his fangs recently with the withdrawal of his political associates like Danjuma Goge and others will have the express power to kill cases where he has interests.”