Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN)
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), has called on the National Assembly to immediately pass the pending Proceeds of Crime and Whistle-blower bills to facilitate the fight against corruption.
According to his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Saliu Isah, on Wednesday, said the AGF made the plea in a statement when he appeared on a live programme on the Nigerian Television Authority in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to the special adviser, the NTA programme was specifically designed to draw attention on the whistle-blowing policy of the Federal Government.
In response to a question on the live programme, Malami was said to have appealed to the National Assembly “to expedite action towards the passage of the bills as that will engender increased citizen participation in the anti-graft war and whistle– blowing activities.”
Malami was said to have stressed that the law would carry more weight than the policy statement currently in force.
His dissatisfaction over the delay of the Proceeds of Crime and Whistle-blower bills before the National Assembly, was expressed and he explained that if the legislature passed the bills into law, then it would provide a legal backing to the whistle-blowing policy of the Federal Government.
He added, “So far, the only safeguard for whistle-blowers rests on the political will.
“The agencies involved in prosecuting the anti-graft war are keying into the understanding of protecting whistle-blowers.”
He further mentioned that Nigerians are now aware of how the process has put the public interests at the fore, whereby close relations are now blowing the whistle on their allies.
“The policy is being accommodated wholeheartedly by Nigerians,” the minister said.
Malami cited Nigeria’s participation in the last year’s London summit on anti-corruption war and had since joined the Open Government Partnership to enhance the fight against corruption.
He said the Federal Government had demonstrated the political goodwill “aimed at exposing corruption and mismanagement of public resources.”
In response to other question, the minister said that whistle-blowers have the freedom to report allegations with the criminal elements involved to his office or such information could be sent through other anti-graft agencies.
He assured that the Federal Ministry of Justice was working in collaboration with other anti-graft agencies to see that due action was taken for the interest of the report and the reporter.
The minister equally said that the collaborative effort also involved the federal ministries of justice and finance, which are working on a document to remove the challenges related to reporting criminalities and administrative ills.
He said, “The single deed document is being developed to save whistle-blowers of the tripartite process of reporting criminalities and administrative ills.”