No judgment debt incurred under Buhari administration, says AGF Malami

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The Federation Attorney General and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami has revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has not incurred any judicial debts since the administration was established in 2015.

He disclosed this on Thursday during the weekly ministerial briefing organized by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

According to him, the 648 cases the department was defending against the federal government, which were in various stages of litigation, had been brought by previous administrations.

He said that sums of N54,888,343,888.42 billion and $507,415,901.1 million had been saved due to the successful defense of the federal government, adding that not even a single kobo had been paid by the federal government as professional legal services for the defense of cases.

The AGF said: “I would like to emphasize that the Federal Department of Justice has indeed been diligent in providing the necessary defenses in support of the Federal Government.

“As a digression, let me tell you that before this government came to power, many legal debts were incurred, including the Paris Club which is a contentious issue in the system.

“But one thing I can say clearly, since the arrival of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, not a single major high-level judgment has been issued against the federal government. All of the disputed judgment debts that we are fighting to defend were indeed legacy judgments against federal government interests incurred by previous administrations.

“So, through the diligent defenses we have undertaken, we have managed within 18 months to deal with and avoid Federal Government liabilities which amount to approximately N54,888,343,888.42.

“These cases, we diligently and successfully defended the Federal Government resulting in Naira and Kobo avoiding liability. Again, we were also successful in defending the federal government to avoid liability for the sum of $507,415,901.1 million.

“So these cases were handled by the state prosecutors at the Federation Attorney General’s Office, and not a kobo was paid by the federal government as professional legal services for the defense of these cases.

“What I’m trying to say in essence is that we’ve been successful as a department in building the capacity of attorneys in the attorney general’s office and offices, and those attorneys have indeed been successful in recording that feat. for the defense of the federal government.”

Malami also said that the administration in 18 months generated the sum of N1,823,788,146.86 from the sales of tender forms for the confiscated assets.

He said, “You know that the president has set up an inter-ministerial committee to not only identify the confiscated assets, but also to dispose of them. So, this committee has been working and in the period of 18 months, a total sum of N1,823,788,146.86 has been generated so far from the sale of the tender forms as the forms have been sold to those who are interested.

The minister noted that the ministry, through the CCG unit, was coordinating the next phase of terrorism-related trials in conjunction with the Federal High Court, Legal Aid Board and Defense Headquarters (DHQ). ).

The minister also revealed that the government had recovered over 3.2 billion naira (£6,324,627.66) of money stolen from various jurisdictions around the world from March 2021 to May 2022.

The AGF, which noted that the Ministry of Justice has supported the federal government in various infrastructure funding deals, lamented that the country is currently struggling with a funding gap of N329 billion.

He explained that an interdepartmental committee on the audit and recovery of stamp duty years has so far recovered N596,055,479.47.

“This exercise also provided employment opportunities for more than 1,000 professionals, including lawyers, accountants, auditors and financial consultants. The current financial year has so far recovered the sum of N596,055,569.47,” Malami added.

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