The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has declared that there is no basis on which he should be blamed for the legal conundrum that has so far bedeviled the Abia state governorship seat.
At least two persons, Okezie Ikpeazu and Uche Ogah have laid claims to the governorship seat of Abia state following a Federal High Court ruling against the validity of Ikpeazu’s 2015 election victory over tax offences.
Some quarters have fingered Malami as the sinister broker behind the legal crisis that has so far emanated from the governorship tussle.
Reacting to the reports however, Malami said, “those canvassing the position have no basis to do so.”
He denied having anything to do with the murky situation in the state even as he revealed that nobody had reached out to him to give any legal opinion to the crisis.
Malami addressed the reports in a statement released by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Othman Salihu Isah which was released on Sunday in Abuja.
The statement reads, “The attention of the Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has been drawn to the insinuations and crass lies being peddled and disseminated by a cross-section of Nigerians and the various media platforms that the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation is behind the legal logjam over the Abia state governorship seat and wish to clarify that those canvassing this position have no basis to do so.”
“Of particular concern are those who have peddled ill-natured rumours with a view to misinform our discerning populace that the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and by extension, the Federal Government of Nigeria that gave directives to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue Certificate of Return to Dr. Uchechukwu Ogah declaring him Governor-Elect. He has definitely not taken any action either by spoken words or body language as far as this Abia governorship crisis is concerned.”
“I wish to therefore, on behalf of my principal declare that these rumours are untrue and a figment of the imagination of those pushing these selfish, shameless and irredeemable lies into public space which only translates to partisanship on the side of its purveyors.”
“As far as the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation is concerned, the constitutional powers for the legal opinion of his office have not been invoked on this issue. So far, nobody has approached him to proffer any legal opinion to it. As a strong believer in the rule of law, it is his belief that the law should naturally take its course. The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation will not be dragged into this controversy and mind-games being played out by the various legal minds and spin doctors of both camps at this point.”
“The parties involved should await the decision of the courts. In fact, we wish to by this statement advise those in the habit of dragging the highly esteemed Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice into knotty issue of this kind even when it is yet to take a position. They should desist from these unwarranted presumptions henceforth.”