Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami, has reacted to reports of him requesting the suspension of the the fundamental rights of all Nigerians as guaranteed under Chapter IV of the constitution.
An online publication had reported that Mr Malami made the request in an eight-page secret memo dated May 4, 2021, requesting that the declaration of martial law nationwide.
He was reported to have blamed separatist non-state actors like Sunday Adeyemo popularly known as Sunday Igboho and Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB) as being behind the worsening state of insecurity in the country.
But refuting the claims, the AGF who doubles as Justice Minister described the report as fabricated while praising himself as a true democrat.
“The attention of the Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN has been drawn to a false and fictitious report alleging that there was a secret memo emanating from the Office to the Presidency,” a statement signed by his media aide, Umar Gwandu, said on Thursday.
“General publics are hereby asked to disregard the media report as fabrications of anti-constitutional democratic stability in Nigeria. Malami remains a true democrat who believes in rules of law and tenant of democracy and Constitutional order.
“The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice is a constitutionally recognised one with its role and responsibilities embedded in the constitution.
“It is antithetical to common sense to think that the holder of such coveted Office as the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice will stoop to what was printed by the media. The Government does not operate in secrecy as it is not a clandestine operation. Hence, Malami discharges his constitutionally recognized mandates in compliance with principles of transparency, openness and accountability,” the statement added.
But in an interview with the National Television Authority (NTA) on Tuesday, the comments of the AGF lay credence to the report. The minister said critics where taking advantage of the federal government’s respect for human rights and rule of law to commit insurgency.
“Consider chapter four of the constitution on the enforcement of fundamental human rights; people are now operating much more in breach as far as the fundamental human rights enforcement is concerned as against operating in such a way that the rights are intended to bring about a harmonious co-existence in the system,” he said.
“How can you imagine a Nigerian taking arm; one Nigerian killing over 100 people, only out of the spirit of perhaps the consideration for the enforcement of fundamental human rights.
“So, perhaps, what is unfolding today is on the account of religious observance of the rule of law as enshrined in the constitution.
“Rather than people taking advantage of the human rights principles in the constitution positively, they are perhaps using it outside the reign of constitutional consideration,” Malami added.