By Jennifer Ugwueke
Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN, has dismissed reports he disobeyed the directives of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on All Progressives Congress (APC) State Congresses.
On the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, Osinbajo had convened a meeting of senior lawyers within the APC on July 30 with a view to finding a resolution to the crisis within the party following the Supreme Court ruling on the Ondo state governorship election.
Some reports claimed that Osinbajo directed Malami not to go ahead with the State Congress while some later clarified the Vice President did not give any directive to the AGF.
In a statement signed by Malami’s Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Umar Gwandu, the AGF said the conduct of the congresses is entirely the affairs of the APC and has nothing to do with the Minister.
“It is important to put the record straight that congresses and the conduct thereof are a function of a political party and not the office of the Attorney General.
“The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice is not responsible for the implementation of directives relating to party administration as it is rightly known.
“It is, therefore, incongruous and antithetical to common sense to think that the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice refusing to obey directives over which he has no legal responsibility to execute.
“The allegation does not represent the true position of things, please. It is a common knowledge that the two eminent personalities are both lawyers, hence could be entitled to their respective opinions within the context of Section 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria that upholds freedom of expression.
“It is a tradition and normal experience in life that lawyers express divergent opinions which in some cases are not rooted in the majority decision of the Supreme Court on speculations and insinuations.
“The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice is not bound by any conclusion put across which should naturally be persuasive and not binding.
“The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice remain law-abiding and wholeheartedly abiding by presidential directives.”