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  • Nigerian govt says it is open to possible political solution on Nnamdi Kanu and Igboho

The Nigerian government has revealed that it is open to all kinds of solutions, including a political solution in order to find a solution to the agitation crisis in the southeast and southwest parts of the country.

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Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN on Wednesday in Abuja gave the indication in a chat with some journalists.

The AGF who noted that criminal conduct would never go unpunished, however, remarked that the government has been using the amnesty policy to tackle some security challenges in the country and as such, the possibility of a political solution cannot be ruled out.

Malami spoke on other issues including the current controversy between the federal government and the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), the international arbitration involving Nigeria and Process and Industrial Development (P& ID) company on one hand, and Sunflower firm over the Mambila power projects on the other.


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When asked whether the federal government is not disposed to a political solution to the cases of Kanu and Igboho, as being canvassed by some leaders and other stakeholders in the country, Malami noted that although such consideration is not yet on the table, but would not mind taking a shot at it once there is an approach on how to go about it.

“As far as the security situation is concerned and as far as governance and this administration is concerned, you cannot rule out all possibilities”, he said, adding that, “But then there has to be an approach for government to consider.”

He, however, explained that he cannot be preemptive at this stage by stating clearly and outrightly that reconciliation is being considered without an approach being made.

According to him, it is the approach if at all any was made that the government “will look into for the purpose of looking at its weight, the authenticity of it, the good faith associated with it and then bring about the considerable factors relating to the negotiations or otherwise.

“So it is not a conclusion that one can outrightly make without juxtaposing associated facts relating to the reconciliation. There has to be an approach and then a counter consideration.”

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While the federal government has been involved in a legal battle with Nnamdi Kanu in Nigeria, it is battling to extradite Igboho from the Benin Republic to face criminal charges. Both Kanu and Igboho have been at the forefront of agitations for a breakaway from Nigeria.

The government in fresh charges filed against Kanu last month at the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court had linked him with the wanton destruction of lives and properties as well as attacks on security operatives and government infrastructure in the southeast of Nigeria. However, some leaders from the two geopolitical zones have been urging for a political solution to the crisis.

On the issue of the payment of fees to contractors who allegedly helped the 36 states government to recover excess deductions from the account during the payment of the Paris Club loans, Malami berated the governors for “approbating and reprobating at the same time”. He explained that the governors cannot come to deny liability in 2021 having consented to it and made several payments.

While arguing that the federal government is obligated to obey orders of courts and carry out executions of the court judgment, he claimed that the governors’ current litigation over the payment of consultancy services fees was belated. “I have told you earlier that the judgment in contention was a 2013 judgment and it was a consent judgment in which ALGON and governors forum consented to a judgment.

“So what judgment are you talking about in 2021 against the background of the fact that they consented to the judgment in 2013, against the background of the fact they have been effecting payment as far back as 2013, against the background of the fact that they have written in there right, under their respective hands, committing to the payment of this consultancy fee we are talking about.

He also clarified that following complaints from the governors at a time the administration had involved the EFCC and DSS to authenticate the project; as well as what was done and how much.

According to Malami, the total judgment debt was put at about $3.2 billion, out of which the governors did not only agree to pay but actually have been making payments until recently.

Hammed Zubair

posted 2021-11-11 07:48:03

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