Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has accused Mr Olumide Akpata, President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), of pursuing a personal agenda over the invasion of Justice Mary Peter-Odili’s residence in Abuja.
Despite the report of the investigation by the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba Alkali, Akpata had at a media parley last Thursday intimated to the press that with the approval of the National Executive Committee (NEC), the NBA has set up a high-powered committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding the attack on Justice Odili and report to the NBA on a weekly basis.
He said the NBA would ensure that all those behind the embarrassing incident are unveiled and made to face the stiff sanctions of the Association, including legal action.
“It is for this and other reasons that I have appointed the Chairman of the NBA Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL), Dr Monday Ubani, to serve as the NBA’s Special Investigator to inter alia, unmask those behind the attack on Justice Odili’s home, and to ensure that these individuals are made to face the law.
‘It is for this reason that we are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari, to immediately set up an independent Panel of Inquiry to fish out all those that are behind this dastardly act” Akpata had said.
But speaking on Channels Television programme, Sunday Politics monitored by our correspondent, Malami who denied any culpability in the invasion of the residence of the Supreme Court justice said the NBA president is pursuing a personal agenda on the matter.
“I think the NBA is perhaps having an agenda. I am talking of the national president of the NBA. Perhaps maybe he may have his own agenda that he is pursuing, either arising from certain conspiracies or not”.
“But then, if he feels strongly about the report which has been formally released by the office of the Inspector General of Police, he knows how best it can be set aside both in terms of authenticity, in terms of cogency and in terms of veracity”.
The minister reiterated that he never gave any order for the siege to be carried out.
He also made further clarifications about a suspect – Lawrence Ajodo, who said he had worked previously with the AGF.
“I have never given him a single case and if I have given him 29 cases, let him show the evidence of the engagement,” Malami said, adding: “I have never seen this man on earth, God Know and I believe there are certain (not only) criminal undertones, perhaps maybe some other undertones, by people who think that by hook or by crook the AG must be a target of aggression one way or the other”.
According to Malami, the suspect is not under the pay record of the ministry and even if he was, he would not carry out operations that are outside the scope of the ministry.
“Government business is regulated through due processes and procedures. So you cannot be seen to be operating as a department under the office of the Attorney General and then operating outside the scope and regulations of the law.
“So, you can see clearly, the man said he was asked by the Attorney General to carry out that task. Ask him, which of the Attorneys-General and on account of which formal engagement?
“There are 36 Attorneys General across the nation inclusive of the office of the Attorneys General of the Federation. So if he said he has been sent by the Attorney General, the next point is to ask him, who is the Attorney General”.