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Malami steps down as Nigeria’s justice minister

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The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said funds recovered by his ministry stood at N270 billion from N19.5 billion in 2015.

Mr Malami said this during a valedictory session to mark the end of his tenure as the ministry’s helmsman in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to a report by the Vanguard newspaper, Mr Malami also said the government was already trying to ensure the return of asset worth $500million from France, the United States and the Island of Jersey.

He recounted the efforts which resulted in the refund of the Abacha loot from Switzerland, adding that the sum recovered was N322.5 million.

“The fund has since been repatriated back to Nigeria and is now being managed by the National Social Investment Office under the supervision of the World Bank. It is aimed to support households who are living below the poverty line across the country,” the paper quoted Mr Malami.

Mr Malami explained that N19.5 billion had previously been recovered by the ministry before the commencement of the outgoing administration.

“It may interest you to know that as at 29th May 2015, the balance in the recovery account of the Federal Government of Nigeria stood at N19. 5billion. The balance has geometrically increased to N279 billion as at 22nd November 2017 and counting.

Mr Malami also recounted the drafting of the presidential executive order six and eight as efforts initiated by the justice ministry. He said they were both created to safeguard public wealth.

“These instruments have uniquely revolutionised the War against corruption in Nigeria.”

Mr Malami listed the achievements of the justice ministry in its implementation of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

Mr Malami became Nigeria’s justice minister in November 2015, succeeding Mohammed Adoke.

The justice ministry under his tenure had worked with other sectors in the war against corruption to ensure the prosecution of politically exposed persons, most prominent of whom is the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.

Mr Malami’s administration was involved in a number of controversies, especially his obvious support for the continued detention of Dasuki, despite several court orders for his release.

With his recent decision, the ministry’s permanent secretary and Solicitor General of the Federation, Dayo Apata, will lead the ministry till a new minister is appointed in the second tenure of the current administration.

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