Malami Defends Decision to Inaugurate APC Caretaker Committee

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Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami

Gboyega Akinsanmi

The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mallam Abubakar Malami (SAN) yesterday defended his decision to inaugurate the caretaker committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Malami insisted that he acted within his official capacity when he administered the oath of office contrary to his critics that accused him of the wrong use of the office of the attorney-general.

He faulted his critics in a statement his media aide, Dr. Umar Gwandu issued yesterday, defending his decision to swear in Yobe State Governor, Alhaji Mai Mala Buni as the Chairman of the APC caretaker committee.

After the exercise, the AGF had faced barrage of criticism from senior lawyers, civil society organisations and opposition political parties, especially the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Specifically, the PDP argued that the AGF acted illegally by “functioning as a notary public to a political party and using official facilities of the FEC chamber to administer oath of office to a functionary of a political party.”

In his Twitter handle, former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Prof Chidi Odinkalu described the development as “a terrible testament for the regime of Major General Muhammadu Buhari.”

In a statement yesterday, the AGF said it was not out of place for him to administer the oath of office on anyone whether at the federal level, political or to private individuals.
“Entrenchment of democracy and democratic culture is not only a desirable responsibility, but a constitutional one regard being had to the constitutional provisions and the demand for sustenance of democracy in the country,” he said.

“The office of the attorney general exercises dual functions inclusive of that of minister of justice which is a political and advisory function. Administration of justice is one of such functions,

“A federation is an embodiment of the governance inclusive of the executive, legislature, and judiciary with a possible expansion to accommodate private, corporate and associated entities.

“Within that context, it will not be out of place for an attorney general of the federation to administer an oath on any one inclusive of leadership of any political party whether he belongs to it or not.”