By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, ABUJA
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, on Tuesday, begged Governors of the 36 States of the Federation not to leave the fight against insecurity in the country to the Federal Government alone.
The AGF said there was a need to explore areas of collaboration between the States and the FG in terms of prosecution and other means of combatting insecurity.
He spoke at the opening ceremony of the 2023 Conference of Attorneys-General in Nigeria, held in Abuja.
It will be recalled that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had warned that it may be forced to postpone or cancel the impending general elections, if the growing wave of insecurity across the country, is not checkmated.
Speaking at the conference of the AGs, Malami, SAN, maintained that support of states was required for the effective implementation of measures that would check the heightening level of insecurity and corruption in the federation.
“There is no doubt that the support of the States is required for effective implementation and to increase the tempo of the war against corruption.
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“In addition, we need to explore areas of collaboration between the States and the Federal Government in terms of prosecution and other means of combatting insecurity.
“The fight against insecurity should not be left to the Federal Government, especially for offences falling within the jurisdiction of the States”, Malami pleaded.
He said the essence of the conference was for the AGs to extensively brainstorm on areas of mutual collaboration that would include the domestication or review and enforcement of legislations such as the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, and Child Rights Act, among others.
“In our quest to implement reforms in the administration of justice, a critical determinant factor remains adequate funding for the judiciary which also entails compliance with the provisions of the Constitution on financial autonomy for the judiciary and State legislatures, as a mark of our true and holistic commitment to the ideals of democracy, good governance and the rule of law.
“I am delighted to inform this gathering that efforts are already ongoing by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and that of the Revenue Mobilization, Allocation and Fiscal Commission to operationalize an increased salary and welfare package for our Judicial Officers, as recently approved by the President.
“I, therefore, challenge all State Governments to ensure that they also diligently contribute their quota to the development of the judiciary”, the AGF added.
While the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs Beatrice Jedy-Agba, in her welcome address, said there was a need to deploy the instrumentality of the law to impact the society positively, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, who was represented by the Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, urged the AGs to use the conference to discuss issues militating against desired synergy in the justice sector and proffer practicable solutions to them.
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