Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), has officially resumed as Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, thereby succeeding former AGF, Abubakar Malami SAN.
Following his swearing-in, Fagbemi has been advised by a key stakeholder in law, Olisa Agbakoba, to address some urgent issues bedeviling rule of law.
The new AGF served as the lead counsel of the All Progressives Congress (APC) which urged the Presidential Election Petition Court sitting in Abuja to dismiss petitions against Tinubu for lacking in merit.
The AGF is a chief law officer of the federation and personal attorney and adviser to the president on matters relating to relevant applicable laws.
Olisa Agbakoba, in a series of tweets on Monday, highlighted areas that require the urgent attention of the new AGF, including unbundling the EFCC and creating a prosecution outfit separate from it.
Agbakoba added that the AGF should work towards advocating for Constitution review and decentralisation of the police.
“Major reforms of the criminal justice system with particular reference to the utter confusion in the duplicated work of our law enforcement agencies in particular EFCC and ICPC are urgently needed.“Also, there is a need to unbundle EFCC and restrict them to investigation only while a new National Prosecution Agency ought to be established.“Another key reform would be a completely decentralized Police Force at the local state and Federal levels,” Agbakoba stated.
He insisted that a major revamp of Nigeria’s outdated laws is urgently needed to redirect the country toward progress “Last but not least the AGF must work on Speed of Justice. It’s a crying shame it takes upwards of 15 years to conclude cases from the High Court to the Supreme Court.
“Finally but not exhausted is to create sector-specific dispute resolution Agencies to free up the utterly cluttered dockets of the regular courts.
“The other very important task before the Attorney General will be the unnecessary and wholly inefficient matter of over-centralization of our superior courts. There is no better time than now to hack down the highly centralized Court systems in Nigeria.
“The AGF is invited to consider major constitutional amendments to create a system of Federal and State Courts. State Courts ought to have exclusive jurisdiction over matters related to them.
This is also the case for Federal Courts whose Jurisdiction must be limited to Federal causes. This will free up the Clutter at the Supreme Court and make it the Policy Court it ought to be in the first place,” he added, saying Fagbemi was capable of the task.
The call for the unbundling of the EFCC, the country’s anti-graft agency, seems to align with the thinking of the current AGF.
During his ministerial screening at the National Assembly, Lateef Fagbemi, representing Kwara State, held that unbundling EFCC was the way to go.
He said “Left for me, the EFCC and ICPC must be unbundled for proper functioning.
“You can’t have an investigating body prosecuting, it’s wrong.
“Let there be a body to investigate and another to prosecute,” he had said.
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