The Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has disclosed that the fight against corruption is total, comprehensive and dispassionate devoid of any political or ethnic sentiments or inclination.

Malami stated this during the end of year Media Parley and Judicial Correspondents Achievement Award on Thursday 19th December, 2019, at the HAGF’s Conference Room, Abuja.

He said that one of the multiple institutions involved in the fight against corruption, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, was able to, from 2015 to September 2019 convict 1,636 persons involved in corruption related offences.

‘’ It might interest you to note that former state Governors and even serving senators are not spared. Currently, high profile personalities including judicial officers and former governors indicted for corruption have been prosecuted and many sentenced to jail. We have three former Governors convicted and serving various jail terms for corruption related crimes while in office. Equally, twenty-two ex-governors are either under probe or on trial’’, he explained

He hinted that the Whistle-blowing Policy was also well implemented and has yielded lots of recoveries of stolen assets in Nigeria. He urged journalists to use the institution of the Media for advocacy against corruption, encouraging the implementation of crucial measures and providing inspirational motivation against corrupt practices as well as highlighting exemplary models by promoting excellence and creativity in anti-corruption projects as incentive to greater motivation is significant to the Africa Continent.

Recalling President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that “if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us”, he said, “if we don’t make effort to kill corruption, corruption will kill us and when corrupt monies find haven, it will begin to fight back”. He stated that Nigeria and Africa at large can only move forward if all forms of corruption are resisted.

He explained the present administration’s effort in the fight against corruption in all its ramified manifestations including legislative framework, institutional infrastructure and the adoption of effective preventive measures against corruption and putting in place mechanisms for management of recovered stolen assets. “To this end, we have created a central database for recovered stolen assets which is under the supervision of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice”, he added.

Speaking on the international front, Malami disclosed efforts of the Nigerian Government collaborating with various jurisdictions to recover and repatriate funds that have been stolen and stashed outside the Nigeria.

“The government is not relenting in the pursuit of Nigeria’s stolen wealth. The recovery efforts are ongoing and work is in progress. Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari will leave no stone unturned to recover wealth stolen from Nigeria either by individuals or corporate entities”, he assured.

Malami gladly informed that, the Federal Government of Nigeria has recovered funds from corporate bodies and individuals through the combined efforts of the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and our Law Enforcement Agencies through local and international collaboration with international community and adoption of strategies put in place.

He commended them for their tremendous contribution in their reportage of the activities of the Ministry and its parastals.

He acknowledged and commended the Judiciary Correspondents for their supportive role in providing positive and adequate publicity for the Ministry’s activities while expressing his optimism that the meeting was essential in enhancing the working relationship between the Ministry and the Media.

He hoped that the engagement with the Media would bring about soliciting for consensus building in the fight against corruption and working together toward nation building for the betterment of its citizens.

In his closing remarks, the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Dayo Apata, SAN expressed appreciation for the cordial relationship between the said Ministry and Judicial Correspondents.

Apata said, ‘’we are together in under one umbrella especially the journalists, whether in electronic or the print or the social media. The essence of it is to ensure that Nigeria is a better place to live and that is what you represent in discussing this type of Parley.

Modope Ogundoro

Deputy Director