By Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
Renowned Right and environmental conservation activist, Ifeanyichukwu Okonkwo, yesterday in Enugu accused the federal government of “privatising’ the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and therefore asked the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) to do the needful before the situation degenerates.
Okonkwo said it amounts to privatisation or out-sourcing of the AGF’s office when “all manners of characters” are brought in to exercise public prosecution, warning that unless something was done urgently the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari would destroy the judiciary and erode justice in Nigeria.
Okonkwo who is also the promoter of a non-governmental organisation, Movement of Voice for Democracy (Movers Nigeria) that hosts the popular Friday radio programme “Peoples Court” on Solid 100.9 FM, Enugu shared his views while speaking with journalists in Enugu at the weekend.
He faulted the statement that the federal government instead of the Attorney General of the Federation had set-up a presidential inter-agency committee on recovery of loans granted to commercial banks and corporate organisations by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
He pointed out that the powers in Section 5 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) is distinct and separate from the powers of the office of the AGF captured in section 174 of the constitution and only the AGF in subsection 3 of 174 can constitute such a committee without going through the office of the secretary to the government of federation for presidential approval.
The right activist explained that ambiguity in the implementation of the duties donated to the office of the AGF is the reason why people have been calling for separation of the office of AGF from that of the Minister of Justice.
He said: “It is the AGF’s prerogative to constitute the membership of the committee and appoint the members while he retains the chairman.
The activist indicted the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) for sleeping why the President Buhari administration is privatising the office of the AGF.
He also raised concern that President Buhari will destroy the judiciary and erode justice in Nigeria.
“I am saying this with the fear that President Buhari is hell-bent in compromising the judiciary having due regards of his dinner meeting with the legislators where he raised the issue of securing a working relationship with the judiciary to fight corruption a clear affront to Section 6 of the 1999 Nigeria constitution (as amended),” he said.