Human rights lawyers under the aegis of Public Interest Defenders (PID), have asked President Muhammadu Buhari to remove Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) and Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau for their roles in the re-engagement of ex-chairman of Pension Reform Task Team (PRTT), Abdurasheed Maina.
The lawyers also said the duo should be investigated and prosecuted for breach of public trust.
PID in a statement by its chairman, Pelumi Olajengbesi, said “By virtue of Section 174(1) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), the AGF shall exercise his powers as Chief Law Officer of the nation with particular attention to public interest, interest of justice and safety from tyranny.
“It is our firm belief that the AGF is currently acting contrary to our collective interest as a people, and it is high time he is removed from office and a more committed individual with public interest at heart be appointed.
“This recommendation is not made lightly and must be viewed in the light of the AGF’s continued logger-head position with the law and the fight against corruption. More so, we collectively denounce the reluctance and the lack of passion of the AG (to arrest and prosecute Maina immediately in line with the President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade.
“Letting such a man go without punishment is an insult on our collective sensibilities and a clear cut indication that Abubakar Malami is intent on sabotaging this anti-corruption administration.
“It is also our collective belief that Abubakar Malami acted in a manner capable of mortgaging our trust, confidence and faith as a people. His involvement in reinstating Maina back into the ministry as a Director is an act of betrayal and lack of patriotism for the country. His sense of justice is apparently skewered and unreliable. He must go for the law contemplates no sacred cows in its temple.
“While much has been inferred in extenso with regards to the Justice Minister, we unreservedly demand that Interior Minister be subjected to the same process as the Justice Minister: dismissed, investigated and prosecuted.
“The action of the Interior Minister is dishonourable and must be queried for its evil intent. It is time we properly sanitise the system, pick out the bad eggs within it and only then can our country be great again.
“More so, by same memo by both Ministers, Abdurasheed Maina was further recommended for promotion. Paragraph 2 Above is instructive in that the records stipulates that Abdulraheed Maina is yet to clear himself of the N195 billion scam for which he was declared wanted by the EFCC in 2015.
“While the action of the President is a scented rose intended to throw us off the stench of the disservice occasioned to Nigeria and Nigerians by two principal Ministers of this government, we are in no way swayed from what must be the next logical action by President.
“PID notes with alarm that as serious as this issue is, it risks being swept under the carpet as with a plethora of issues concerning this government and Nigerians would soon be hoodwinked or lulled into a false sense of security or trust.
“The fact that a wanted suspect may even be reinstated to become a Director in the civil service after evidence abound to his guilt invites a reconsideration of the competence of the Justice Minister and his intentions.”