ABUJA – president Muhammad Buhari has been advised to disregard calls on him to sack the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami. This advice was given by Mr Philip Agbese, national coordinator of a group, Stand Up Nigeria (SUN) at a press conference in Abuja on Sunday.
“We appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to disregard the calls for him to sack the Attorney-General of the Federationand Minister of Justice, Mr. Malami Abubakar SAN”, Agbese said. He added that, “Contrary to the lies being told, falling for propaganda to fire Mr Abubakar will signifying a policy U-turn on the part of his government and it will lead to loss of international goodwill and local support for the anti-corruption drive.”
The group said the agitation for the removal of Malami was indeed evidence that corruption has continued to fight back.
Though SUN refused to address the allegations raised against the AGF, Agbese, however, said “we will tell these groups for free that it is not an ethical choice or a popular stand to be seen as the advocate in chief for corrupt entities. The strategies they adopted in trying to bring the AGF down clearly gives indications as to who they speak for.
“We are instead appealing to Mr. Malami Abubakar SAN to regard all such calls as the distraction that they are. The call for his sack is an indication that he is taking actions that are hitting the corruption industry really hard, hence the desperation to get him out of the way so that a pliable person that will not lift a finger against sleaze could be planted in his place.”
According the National coordinator of SUN, “In the short time Mr Abubakar has been at the helms as AGF and Minister of Justice, we have seen enough proof that he embodies President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision of justice.
“We have seen an anti-corruption crusade that is yielding results without resorting to jungle manoeuvres. The conviction and jailing of the ex-NIMASA Director General, Raymond Omatseye is enough testament that the AGF is up to speed with his job description. Nigerians also did not lose sight of the pace at which trials of persons arraigned for corruption are going as opposed to the past when suspects are charged and the trials get stuck for months. We are also mindful of the several cases we once thought were lost but that have been revived today.
“These no doubt are among the reasons Mr Abubakar has become the subject of petitions and letters demanding for his sack. It takes someone that has proven himself as the engine house of President Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade to make such powerful enemies. The knowledge that the AGF gives the fillip to the anti-graft agencies to go after looters is unacceptable to his detractors.
He said further, “As those calling for Mr. Malami Abubakar’s sack go about writing the next chapter in their failed project we hereby caution all those behind the call for the AGF’s sack; whether as the main client, foot soldiers or minions, to desist forthwith as Nigerians have zero tolerance for corruption and they have even lesser tolerance for those encouraging graft.
“We urge the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Malami Abubakar SAN to increase the onslaught on persons indicted for corruption and to the fight against graft to the next level. The assets and funds to be recovered from this exercise is sorely needed at this point in time that the economy is struggling.”
The group also described the call for Malami’s sack as laughable and defended why it would not go into the allegations thus:”Let us state from the onset that we find these calls laughable.
“We will not try to counter the allegations raised against Mr Abubakar. That will be dignifying the groups that made those frivolous accusations and be helping them publicise their lies since their so called letter was never submitted in the first place. In the same vein we will not go into the identities of the groups making the calls since we are not an advertising agency to embark on image branding for them.”