FG Disposed To Political Solution On Igboho, Kanu

Nigeria's Minister for Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN

By Kikelomo Johnson

Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) has said the Federal Government has not ruled out political solution in dealing with heads of groups seeking to leave Nigeria.

Speaking during an interaction with the media in Abuja on the pardon granted to Boko Haram insurgents while leaders of other separatist movements are facing prosecution, he stated that the Federal Government is open to other ways of settling with ethnic agitators.

The interview also had the minister stating government’s position on other issues, including the disagreement between the Federal Government and the Nigerian Governors Forum over the Paris Club Refund, international arbitration involving Nigeria and Process and Industrial Development Company and Sunrise Power Transmission Company of Nigeria Limited and the Mambila Power Projects.

He said: “As far as the security situation is concerned and as far as governance and this administration is concerned, you cannot rule out all possibilities. But then, there has to be an approach for government to consider,” he said.

The minister, however, said he cannot be pre-emptive at this stage by stating clearly that reconciliation was being considered without an approach being made.

He said, “We will look into it (approach) for the purpose of looking at its weight, the authenticity of it, the good faith associated with it and then bring about the considerable factors relating to the negotiations or otherwise.

“So, it is not a conclusion that one can outrightly make without juxtaposing associated facts relating to the reconciliation; there has to be an approach and then a counter consideration.”

Speaking on the payment of $418 million consultancy fees to contractors who allegedly helped the 36 state governments to recover excess deductions from the Federation Account during the payment of the Paris Club loans, Malami berated the governors for “approbating and reprobating at the same time.”

“I have told you earlier that the judgment in contention was a 2013 judgment and it was a consent judgment in which ALGON and governors forum consented to a judgment.

“So what judgment are you talking about in 2021 against the background of the fact that they consented to the judgment in 2013, against the background of the fact they have been effecting payment as far back as 2013, against the background of the fact that they have written in there right, under their respective hands, committing to the payment of this consultancy fee we are talking about?

“So, I think it is logical for all to see that they were indeed, submissive and they were indeed in agreement, and they have indeed conceded and consented to a judgment that created the liability they are now complaining about”, Malami explained.

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