A-G, Malami, wants 2.5% of recovered loots for office


The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation,
Abubakar Malami, has asked the National Assembly to approve a
commission of 2.5 per cent of recovered loots to be paid to the Asset
Recovery Unit in his office.
The money will be used to “service bills”, the minister said Wednesday
when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human
Rights and Legal Matters for the defence of his ministry’s budget for
“We are progressively making vital recoveries of our looted funds
stashed abroad. However, let me affirm that the legal procedural
requirements for these recoveries are all-together tasking and
cumbersome,” he said.
“Most times, we have to engage the services of well-grounded lawyers
and consultants to effect recovery. To smoothen our operations in this
regard, it was deemed expedient to establish Asset Recovery Unit in my
office and so far, the effort is quite sultry.
“I will like to reiterate my request to the effect that about 2.5 per
cent of the recovered looted money to be earmarked to the Asset
Recovery Unit to service logistics, operational cost, payment to
private lawyers and consultants.”
Malami has been accused of authorising the payment of $15 million to
lawyers for purportedly helping to facilitate the recovery of the
Abacha loot. The payment became controversial because the lawyers
reportedly did little to deserve that amount since the bulk of the
work had already been done by Swiss lawyers.
The lawmakers were favourably disposed to Mr Malami’s request for a
2.5 per cent commission, and told him to send it to the National
Assembly in the form of a bill to avoid being misinterpreted as
“padding”, especially when the money was not contained in the budget
for 2020.
In his remarks, Chukwuka Utazi, supported the request when he argued
that such appropriation will greatly facilitate the recovery of more
looted funds.
The lawmaker praised Mr Malami’s loyalty and consistent fight or
Nigeria since 2015.
Judgement Debt
The minister also requested an extra N30 billion to his ministry to
service judgement debts annually. This, he said, is because Nigeria’s
judgement debt has risen to N150 billion.
He explained that the judgement debt arose from bad cases, contract
failures, damages and especially fines against human rights abuses. He
also said the country was facing ” hydra-headed challenges meeting up
with the obligations.

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