Oh no, Malami!

I was on my way to the killing fields of Kaduna on Friday along with the President of Middle Belt Forum, Dr Pogu Bitrus and the General Secretary of Pan Niger Delta Forum, Dr Alfred Mulade. The mission was to go and give some comfort to the people of Southern Kaduna on behalf of Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum. We  boarded a train from Abuja, which is one of the legacies of the “clueless”  administration. As we made the smooth journey to Kaduna which has become the hotspot of ethnic cleansing in the last five years, I was thinking of the positives of the recent years that we can celebrate like the rail service we were riding to the scene of  bloodletting that is becoming a daily occurrence.

All that came on my phone was the news of the unfolding theatre of latest war in Edo that the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami is brewing at present.

A Punch report titled “How Malami ordered IGP To Provide Security for 17 Edo Legislators Inauguration “detailed the way the AGF acted like an Attorney to a mafia organisation hired for a bid:

“Fresh facts have emerged on how the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), directed the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to provide security for the inauguration of the 14 members-elect and three other members of the Edo State House of Assembly on Thursday.

“In the letter, with reference number HAGF/IGP/2020/Vol 1/4, dated August 5, 2020, and obtained by our correspondent, the AGF also requested the IG to provide security for the subsequent sittings of the Edo State House of Assembly.

“There was palpable tension in Benin, the state capital, on Thursday when the 17 lawmakers gathered in an unknown location to carry out the inauguration. The oath was said to have been administered by the Assembly’s Deputy Clerk, Mr Tom Efezokhae.

“Only 10 out of the 24-member Assembly were inaugurated on June 17, 2019, following the proclamation issued by the Governor. The speaker of the 10-member Assembly, Frank Okiye, later declared the seats of the 14 members vacant.

“Following the new inauguration on Thursday, Okiye and his deputy, Rolland Asoro, were impeached during the sitting, presided over by the new speaker elected by the 17 members, Victor Edoror; without  any formal proclamation.

Meanwhile, in his letter, titled ‘Re: Urgent and nationalistic appeal to intervene in the restoration of constitutional democracy in Edo State of Nigeria,’ written to the IG, the AGF said he acted on the letter written by Messrs West Idahosa & Co., requesting his intervention. Your intervention? Your intervention as what the hell? This must be some Road Transport Workers Union dispute a lawless minister is being called upon to lawlessly resolve in a Banana Republic.

The letter added, “I am requesting that you kindly provide adequate security measures for the purpose of the inauguration of the concerned members and the subsequent sittings of the Edo State House of Assembly.”

In the continuous personalisation of governance, the AGF constituted himself into a court of law over a festering constitutional matter in Edo, issued judgment and passed his decisions to the IGP based on a motion filed before him by a politician.

If this has not become a deregulated Government where no one is in charge and everyone does what pleases it in his or her own jurisdiction, how can the AGF write to the IGP to carry out illegal orders citing a letter written to him by a politician? Do we have a commander-in-Chief in the villa still?

Can Malami withdraw this letter and tell us this is a forgery and not written by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN). A ‘charge-and-bail’ lawyer would be very careful of perpetuating such harakiri.

There could have been constitutional issues of the proclamation of the Edo House of Assembly leading to the declaration of the seats of 14 members vacant. Only the courts before which those issues have been referred can pronounce on them and not the AGF constituting himself into an illegal court.

There are serious implications for the polity when AGF begins to act recklessly in the manner Malami has behaved in terms of promoting anarchy and possible breakdown of law and order. Such self-help characterised the last days of the second Republic in Bendel (now Edo State) and other states; which were parts of the issues

Gen. Muhammadu Buhari and his group cited in overthrowing that administration.

The President will do well not to allow Malami to get away with this serious infraction.

 

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