Paris Club Refund: Malami Should Permit the Rule of Law to Run Its Full Course – Legal Practitioner
Eze Onyekwere, a lawyer, has urged Abubakar Malami, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, to let the Paris Club return issue go through the complete legal process.
The state governors’ complaints regarding the Paris Club return deductions made to consultants they hired, according to the minister, are without merit.
“The Governor’s forum comprising of all the governors sat down commonly agreed on the engagement of a consultant to provide certain services for them relating to the recovery of the Paris Club,” Malami had said.
But the attorney advised Malami to restrain himself from going too far in an interview on Thursday.
“If we are discussing the rule of law, I believe the Honourable Attorney General should allow that process to run to its conclusion so that you don’t overreach whatever information or decision of the court would be,” he said during the show.
He questioned whether the minister has a personal stake in the outcome of the case, labeling Malami’s enthusiasm as fictitious. He thinks Malami’s remarks are concerning given that states are having a hard time making ends meet.
“The passion with which the minister of justice is pursuing the payment of this sum seems to suggest that there is an interest beyond public interest because the Attorney-General is a defender of the public interest,” Mr Onyekwere added.
“What is the public interest involved in this at a time when most of these states are unable to pay workers their salaries, retirees their pensions or gratuities, or fund even minimal capital expenditure? Did the consultants recruit the Honourable Attorney-General as their counsel?”
The Lead Director of the Centre for Social Justice questioned the capacity of the consultants, and asked: “whose interest is the Honourable Attorney General serving: the public or the interest of a few consultants?”