By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, ABUJA
It was a harvest of eulogies for the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, on Thursday, as he launched a book on contemporary issues in Nigerian law and practice.
The over 690-page book written by about 51 authors and contributors, was edited by Professor Mohammed L. Ahmadu, Dr Umar J. Gwandu and Nafiu Yakubu.
Among dignitaries that took turns to laud the AGF for how he has used his office to engender reforms in key institutions of government and the justice sector, included the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan who was represented by Senator Michael Bamidele, as well as the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege.
Others were the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mele Kyari, Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Isah Pantami, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Muhammad Musa Bello, former Senators, Shehu Sani and Ali Modu Sheriff, as well as the Chairman and Managing Director of Nuel Ojei Holdings Ltd, Dr Emmanuel. I U Ojei, who was among the guest launchers of the book.
The keynote speaker at the event, Chief Oladipo Okpeseyi, SAN, described Malami as a visionary leader with a track record of loyalty to his superiors and the country.
“He is an accomplished gentleman and thorough-bred politician. Minister Malami is god-fearing, focused, incorruptible, loyal and with an amiable disposition.
“Malami was called to the Bar about 30 years ago. By any standard, he is a senior lawyer anywhere in the world”, Okpeseyi added.
Likewise, Omo-Agege noted that Malami was among those that were consulted when the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, was to be formed.
He said Malami’s legal prowess radiated internationally following the recovery of some of the funds looted by former military Head of State, Late General Sani Abacha.
“The AGF has successfully repatriated about 311 million dollars of the much talked about Abacha loot,” Omo-Agege stated.
He said the National Assembly was aware of several pushes by the AGF to reform obsolete laws in the country to ensure that they met current trends.
“The office of the AGF has been working commendably with the National Assembly,” he added.
The Deputy Senate President said the book would enrich the knowledge of lawmakers and to the country at large.
“I will get the books across to my alma-mater, the Faculty of the Law University of Benin, Faculty of Law, Delta State University.
“On behalf of our members, 109 copies of this book will be purchased,” he said.
On his part, NNPC GMD, Kyari, praised Malami over the role he has played in the P&ID case which he said would have cost Nigeria over $9billion.
“We have never had it this good since Malami came on board,” Kyari stated.
In his address of welcome, the Solicitor General of the Federation, Mr Dayo Akpata SAN, said the book was written Malami’s honour to underscore his contributions to Nigeria’s legal systems.
He said: “Malami assumed office at a time when legal issues were evolving and he has ensured a paradigm shift.
“This book will serve as a useful guide for legal research and practice”.
In his closing remarks, Malami expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari, his family, friends, admirers and well-wishers, for their continued support.
He said the book was not all about him, but a representation of “academic and legal scholars from all parts of Nigeria.”