The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on Thursday released his book of his account of stewardship of the last eight years.
In a memoir titled, ‘Traversing the Thorny Terrain of Nigeria’s Justice Sector; My Travails and Triumphs,’ Mr Malami chronicled the challenges and successes he achieved as minister
The book which was unveiled in Abuja on Thursday comes less than three weeks to the end of the Buhari eight-year regime.
Reuben Abati, the book reviewer, said Mr Malami gave a “detailed account of his stewardship and response to all the allegations and criticisms levelled against him.”
Mr Abati described the AGF’s office as one of the “most powerful, demanding and sensitive public offices in the country.”
Reviewing the 283-page book, Mr Abati said the outgoing justice minister “enriches our knowledge of public service, the purpose of law, leadership and self-actualisation.”
“It appears the entire book is a response to the controversies, the travails Malami has had to face in the position that destiny thrusts upon him,” the book reviewer said.
Malami criticises media over critical reportage
In a scathing response to media coverage of the justice ministry, Mr Malami decried how journalists feasted on promoting negative stories about his tenure
“Instead of getting applause and accolades, sometimes I receive avalanche of criticisms, and the media was awashed with negative stories about me and the Federal Ministry of Justice.
“Many times, journalists call the special assistant on media to the president in the office of the AGF and minister of Justice to confirm the rumours of my death,” Mr Malami recalled in his memoir.
The book reviewer said Mr Malami gave an detailed explanation on the controversies that surrounded the recovery of the infamous “Abacha loot, the MTN saga, the the Paris Club Refund, Twitter Ban” among other issues.
There have been intense discourse over Mr Buhari’s approach to combating corruption with many saying he has been “selective and vindictive.”
However, the Attorney-General in his book paints a different picture of the efforts.
He boasted of his efforts of tackling corruption in “overriding public interest.”
The minister accused the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) of sabotaging Mr Buhari’s anti-corruption efforts.
Chairman of PACAC, Itself Sagay, a professor of law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), had been at loggerheads with Mr Malami over his handling of corruption cases.
Similarly, Mr Malama railed against Ibrahim Magu, a former acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He said Mr Magu was “volubility” adding that former anti-graft czar “enjoyed listening to himself often recklessly.”
Top government functionaries poured praises on Mr Malami for “embodying the virtues of integrity, humility and service to country.”
Atiku Bagudu, Kebbi State governor, lauded Mr Malami for contributing immensely to Nigeria’s democratic governance.
Mr Bagudu said Mr Malami “successfully coordinated President Buhari’s electioneering promise of accountability to Nigerians.”
“Malami has delivered well and we are very proud of him,” The Kebbi governor said.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said Mr Malami has “distinguished himself as legal luminary and as a custodian of President Buhari’s values of integrity.”
Mr Mustapha who represented Kashim Shettima, Nigeria’s president-elect, as chairman of the occasion, said Justice Minister is one of the most “villified” Attorney-General in Nigeria.
He noted that Mr Malami’s decisions were taken un the “best interests of” the country.
During the unveiling of the books, former Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari, bought 250 copies of the book at N300 million.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal procured copies of the book at N125 million on behalf of himself and the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF).
Chairman of United Bank of Africa (UBA), Heirs Holding and Trasncorp, Tony Elumelu, donated N30 million towards launch of the book.
Business mogul, Arthur Eze, bought a copy of the book at N10 million.
Speaking on his experience, Mr Malami said he “encountered many thorny terrains but the Almighty helped me to also triumph. This is regardless of where the source of the mistake, mischief or negligence emanates from.”
He argued that most of the criticisms levelled against him were “misinformed and misguided due to the linear approach to analysing the issues.”
“They forget that as the Honorable Attorney General of Nigerian and Minister of Justice, you are to take consistent decisions that will be in line with underlying principles of law.
“Of course, with the wider interest over and above private as well as individual interests, that is the true definition of impartiality as is needed to efficiently perform his duties’’.
Mr Buhari’s chief of staff, Ibrahim Gambari, a professor, graced the event.
Several government functionaries including the chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa and the Director General of the Nigerian Intelligence Agency (NIA) Ahmed Abubakar, among others were at the event.
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