Abubakar Malami (SAN), Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, has made further clarifications on investigations concerning the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.
Malami fielded questions from State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said it was mischievous to insinuate that he was trying to exonerate Kyari as he only requested an enhancement of investigations.
He added that Kyari is facing trial before Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court in Abuja on charges of illegal drug business.
“Starting with the issue of Abba Kyari as raised, may be, by way of an insight into the workings of the Office of the Attorney-General and Federal Ministry of Justice, you need to understand that it is not, and has never been the functions and duties of the Office of the Attorney-General to conduct investigations
“So, generally speaking, when issues are raised that have some criminal undertones; the responsibility of the Office of the Attorney-General is to refer same to the relevant agencies of government that are saddled with the responsibility of investigation inclusive of perhaps, the Police, ICPC, EFCC, among others.
“So, with that in mind, during the course of investigation, there is naturally a need for correspondents and exchange of mutual correspondents between the offices.
“Fundamentally, after the investigation, when report is presented to the Office of the Attorney-General, the Attorney-General will review same to see whether there is need for enhancement of investigation along the line as it relates to certain key elements of the offence.’’
He said that it was the aforementioned that one needed to understand what actually transpired in the case of Kyari.
Malami said that allegations were made, investigations were conducted, and then requests for further enhancement of investigation were indeed made by the Office of the Attorney-General.
“For the purpose of covering the field in arriving at an informed decision one way or the other.
“So, while this process of correspondence between the Office of the Attorney-General and indeed, the Police is ongoing, it is indeed, a work-in-progress and never a conclusive position.
“So, that is what I can tell you clearly; there was indeed a request for investigation; interim investigation report was presented to the Office of the Attorney-General; and the Attorney-General requested for further enhancement into the investigation, and highlighted some areas in respect of which enhancement of investigation is required.
“So, it is indeed premature or perhaps, mischievous for any conclusion to have been driven in the direction of exonerating or otherwise of the reliability or responsibility relating thereto.’’
On the electoral bill, Malami said that as far as legislative process was concerned, the Constitution was clear.
He said the constitution was clear in the sense that it was the responsibility of the National Assembly to legislate and functions associated to enactment, laws and legislations are exclusive to the National Assembly.
“National Assembly has taken a position, and if the government is in anyway of the opinion that there are certain conflicts associated with the constitution, in terms of breaching the provisions of the constitution relating to law-making, the government has a lot of options to consider and exploit.
“One of the options is to request or demand the National Assembly to consider; the other option, if the government feels strongly about it, it may consider the judicial option which is equally available and open to all.
“And then, the third option is to look at the law within the context and spirit of the law to see what it can do; and all these options are on table.
“No position has been conclusively taken on the part of the government; the government is reviewing; the government is looking and the government will come up with a position at the appropriate time if the need for further action is required; if there is no need for such action, the government will take as presented.’’
He said, however, that no position had been taken by the executive on what needed to be done on the issue in respect to the stance of the National Assembly