Nigeria’s Civil Society Group, known as the Centre for Public Accountability (CPA) is demanding the resignation of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami. , the group alleged, that Mr Malami failed to properly advise President Muhammadu Buhari, on the implications of the refusal of the Federal government, to honor a gas contract agreement, between the Federal government and United Kingdom based company, P$ ID, a disagreement that led to a recent London court judgment, mandating Nigeria to pay the company, a whopping sum of $9.8bn.
The group in a petition addressed to the Attorney General and signed by its Executive Director, Olufemi Lawson, said the refusal of Malami to take the necessary steps, when President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration took over at a time that the reparation costs stood at just $850m, has brought us into this mess today.
“Throughout the first term of the administration, despite your full knowledge of the matter, there were no attempts to appeal the then pending judgement, neither is there a single application for stay of execution, nor a move to set the award to P& ID aside. This is very unfair to us as a nation and grossly incompetent on your part as the AGF.” the petition read.
The group said it is in deep consultations, and shall soon be embarking on a protest to occupy the Ministry of Justice within seven (7) days herefrom and further expose the “venomous misdeeds of Mr Malami, against the Buhari led government and the Nigerian people.”
Read full petition below:
5th September, 2019
Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation,
Federal Ministry of Justice,
RE: 9.8 BILLION DOLLARS JUDGEMENT AGAINST THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IN FAVOR OF THE P & ID THAT NIGERIA MAY NOT FAIL AGAIN; AN IMMEDIATE DEMAND FOR YOUR RESIGNATION.
We bring you solidarity greetings, on behalf of Center for Public Accountability (CPA), a Non-governmental civil society organization committed to the probity, accountability, transparency and due process and we do hereby write you as follows:
That as you aware Sir, on 16 August, Mr Justice Butcher of the London Admiralty Court awarded a record-breaking US$9.8 billion against the Federal Government of Nigeria for breach of contract involving a shadowy off-the-shelf company, Process and Industrial Development Limited (PI&D).
Since this decision of the London court was arrived at, not only have we become traumatized as Nigerians, but we have also become extremely disturbed about the overall implication of this obnoxious debt on the Federal Government’s ongoing effort at repositioning our great country, particularly in the area of lifting our people out of poverty.
Sir, without equivocation, we wish to state that the unfortunate situation we have found ourselves today, cannot be other than as a result of your incompetence as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.
It is disheartening that your inaction and refusal to take the necessary steps, when President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration took over at a time that the reparation costs stood at just $850m, has brought us into this mess today. Throughout the first term of the administration, despite your full knowledge of the matter, there were no attempts to appeal the then pending judgement, neither is there a single application for stay of execution, nor a move to set the award to P& ID aside. This is very unfair to us as a nation and grossly incompetent on your part as the AGF.
Sir, is it not worrisome, that since May 2016 that the Arbitration Tribunal on this matter, wrote to the Nigerian Government reminding all the Parties to be aware from Procedural Order No 12, that the Tribunal has decided that the seat of the arbitration is England, you did not do anything in response?
There is therefore no doubt, that all what your office is preoccupied with now, is to cover up your failures to advise Mr President appropriately, as this matter could have been easily settled for the earlier cost of $850 million.
Instead, you took the decision to gamble on the arbitration and turned an $850 million liability into a $9.6 billion liability.
Sir, beyond the financial burden that this places on us as a nation, it also has the tendency of discouraging foreign investors from Nigeria, a situation which will be counterproductive to President Buhari’s commitment towards diversifying our economy, by opening the doors for foreign investors, a move that will take the teeming population of our people, away from the unemployment market.
It is therefore our patriotic demand, that you honorably resign your appointment as our country’s Attorney General. Your continued stay in the position, has far reaching implications on us as a nation, beyond the present controversial $9.8bn judgement debt.
President Buhari’s administration has demonstrated beyond doubt, and in absolute commitment, our bilateral cooperation with the United Kingdom, and as Nigerians, we have always anticipated the needed support towards the anti-corruption efforts of his leadership, and compliance with decent diplomatic obligations.
You have not only proven to be incompetent, but have also become an albatross, to the President Muhammadu Buhari government and aspiration of Nigerians, towards a sane, decent and corruption free Nigeria.
This could have been a major omission on the part of the Federal government, but since we have not seen an acceptance of guilt from your Office, especially judging by your public statements, it means you are no longer competent to be the AGF of Nigeria, especially as you can no longer diligently perform your duty as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.
For the fact that you ill advised Mr President and allowed Nigeria to be brought under this unimaginable debt burden, we as patriots, have no other option, than to demand for your immediate resignation as our Minister of Justice and AGF.
The signs are obvious and as Nigerians, we have several reasons to be genuinely concerned, about your non committal to our national interest by these emerging judgement debts and the unprecedented number of litigations, against our country.
How justifiable is it, for you, to continue to hold sway, as our country’s chief law officer, while we continue to undermine the rule of law locally and internationally, wholly accumulating debt for our children and unborn generations to pay? It is therefore imperative that you allow reasoning to prevail and resign from Office or face sack. To press home our point we are in deep consultations and shall soon be embarking on a protest to occupy the Ministry of Justice within seven (7) days herefrom and further expose yours venomous misdeeds against the Buhari led government and the Nigerian people.
In conclusion, we wish to restate our continued support and dogged commitments towards repositioning our country, particularly this administration’s war against corruption. Hence, everyone who may undermine these efforts, deserves no such place.
CENTRE FOR PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY (CPA)