OrderPaperToday – Former Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has explained why some Nigerians who were granted bail by the court were still detained.

Asked by Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, during ministerial screening on Friday, Malami affirmed that Sections 36, 37 and 39 demand the respect for individual liberty but argued that the rights are not absolute.

“I want to reiterate that the office is meant to protect public interest and where individual interest conflict with public interest, the interest of 180 Nigerians must naturally prevail, which is seen in Asari Dokubo. The public interest naturally prevails.”

It is worthy to note that Dokubo, a Niger Delta leader was granted freedom following a five count charge of conspiracy, treasonable felony, forming, managing and assisting in managing an unlawful society, publishing of false statement and being a member of an unlawful society.

His release was ordered by the Supreme court but was delayed by the Federal Government.

Similarly, the leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Ibrahim El Zakzaky, was granted release by Federal High court in 2016 but has not been effected by the Federal Government.

Meanwhile, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central) asked the nominee what he intends to do to ensure that the National Assembly does not spend their time and resources working on bills that will be vetoed by the President.

It would be recalled that majority of the 8th Senate’s bills were rejected.

Responding, Malami said he will “establish a culture of deep rooted collaboration and not a collaboration as we see it today.

“What we have today is a public hearing arrangement. We have a credible NASS that will allow integration of ideas.” he added.

Citing the Petroleum Industry Bill which was also vetoed, he said the cause of the rejection was because “the interest of the host community was compromised due to self serving sections were brought into it conferring powers on an individual.”

Highlighting his achievements in the past four years, Malami said: “In terms of the fight against terrorism we have succeeded within the time I was made Attorney General worked on 63 terrorism cases and secured 59 convictions.

“We take gross effective measures. I am happy to report we have succeeded in helping the government to save N145 billion and in dollar $5 billion within a period of 3 years. We increased the recovery account from N19 billion to N279 billion as at November 2018.”

On how he wants to be remembered, he said: “I want to be remembered as one who intensify the fight against corruption and make our system of governance effective and efficient.”

After the grilling exercise, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege described the nominee as a “good man” and was not surprised about his appointment.

Senator Adamu Aliero noted that the nominee was grilled for over an hour which was against their agreement and asked his colleagues to support that his (Malami) exit from the chamber.

Malami was thereafter told to take a bow and exit the chamber.


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