2017 Budget Defense: What Justice Minister, AGF Malami told Senate
As both chambers of the National Assembly gradually wrap up the 2017 budget defense by various ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has pleaded with the Senate to consider an upward review of the allocation for his Ministry this year.
Malami said this was necessary, in view of the onerous responsibility bestowed on the Ministry of Justice as the Federal Government’s primary institution for the administration of justice, adding that the 2017 budget appropriation to the Ministry was grossly inadequate.
The AGF cited the financial involvement in facilitating foreign repatriation of loots as one of the main reasons why he was advocating for increased funding.
He also assured that the Justice Ministry would remain committed to the promotion and defence of constitutional values and principles in the nation’s governance.
Malami during the budget defense on Wednesday, disclosed to the committee on Judiciary and human rights that the legal ministry had recovered $666.676 million as domestically looted funds in 2016.
He also assured the committee of the Judiciary’s commitment to focus on repatriating foreign loots in 2017, mentioning countries like Ireland, Switzerland, UK and US as target states.
“We have a lot of international recoveries that are supposed to be effected in jurisdictions like the united states of America, UK, Jersey, France, Ireland, Switzerland – and significant amounts are there for that matter… Panama amongst others.
“We are making drastic efforts as it connects to international recoveries… We are expecting about 6.3 million Euros any moment from now, repatriation has reached advanced stage in that direction; for US we are expecting close to about 600 million dollars recovery arising from the fact that almost all the pending litigations were substantially consumated and we are going to a composite settlement arrangement so as to displace any possibility of any jurisdiction hanging unto any pending litigation to slow the process of repatriation,” he said.
The attorney general also mentioned Jersey, UK and Switzerland as potential destinations of foreign loot recovery too, adding that an MoU has already being signed to repatriate 321 million pounds from Switzerland.
The chairman of the committee, Senator David Umaru, hailed the AGF for this giant stride and resilient work against corruption, specifically looting, adding that this was in compliance with the administration’s mandate.