ABUJA (Sundiata Post) – The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has denied media reports that he was behind the legal stalemate over the Abia state governorship seat, saying “those canvassing the position have no basis to do so.”
While insisting that so far, nobody has approached him to proffer any legal opinion to the Abia State crisis, Malami urged the parties involved to await the decision of the courts.
According to him, the insinuations are a figment of the imagination of those “pushing the irredeemable lies into public space which only translates to partisanship on the side of its purveyors.”
The clarification of the AGF was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media and Publicity), Dr. Othman Salihu Isah, obtained by journalists on Sunday in Abuja, in reaction to a story on the front page of a national newspaper (not Sundiata Post) with the headline: “Abia: Buhari awaits AGF’s advice on stalemate.”
The statement reads: “The attention of the Office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has been drawn to the insinuations and crass lies being peddled and disseminated by a cross-section of Nigerians and the various media platforms that the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation is behind the legal logjam over the Abia state governorship seat and wish to clarify that those canvassing this position have no basis to do so.
“Of particular concern are those who have peddled ill-natured rumours with a view to misinform our discerning populace that the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and by extension, the Federal Government of Nigeria that gave directives to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue Certificate of Return to Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah declaring him Governor-Elect. He has definitely not taken any action either by spoken words or body language as far as this Abia governorship crisis is concerned.
“I wish to therefore, on behalf of my principal declare that these rumours are untrue and a figment of the imagination of those pushing these selfish, shameless and irredeemable lies into public space which only translates to partisanship on the side of its purveyors.
“As far as the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation is concerned, the constitutional powers for the legal opinion of his office have not been invoked on this issue. So far, nobody has approached him to proffer any legal opinion to it. As a strong believer in the rule of law, it is his belief that the law should naturally take its cause. The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation will not be dragged into this controversy and mind-games being played out by the various legal minds and spin doctors of both camps at this point.
“The parties involved should await the decision of the courts. In fact, we wish to by this statement advise those in the habit of dragging the highly esteemed Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice into knotty issue of this kind even when it is yet to take a position. They should desist from these unwarranted presumptions henceforth.