By Soni Daniel & Kennedy Mbele
Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has dropped his bid for the Kebbi State Government House next year.
Consequently, the politician has opted to keep his job as the nation’s chief law officer.
Malami confirmed to Sunday Vanguard yesterday that he had indeed given up on the governorship race for now but did not give reasons for the change of mind.
This happened as Lagos lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, faulted Malami and another cabinet Minister who also renounced his 2023 aspiration to keep his job.
“I have not resigned as the Attorney General of the Federation but have only withdrawn from the Kebbi governorship race,” Malami said in a short message to Sunday Vanguard.
The AGF, a close ally of President Muhammadu Buhari, was among those purported to have resigned in order to contest as governor of Kebbi State.
Reports said he had bid farewell to his boss and had begun consultations to actualise his governorship bid.
Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, also resigned on account of his 2023 presidential aspiration but withdrew the resignation to keep his job.
The resignation derived from Buhari’s directive at the last Federal Executive Council meeting of Wednesday, May 11, 2022, asking Ministers and other political appointees who aspire to contest for elective offices in the 2023 general elections to resign their appointments.
Falana, faulting Ngige and Malami’s withdrawal of resignation, in a statement on behalf of Alliance on Surviving Covid 19 and Beyond (ASCAB) which he chairs, said: “In compliance with the directive, nine Ministers resigned their appointments.
“The former Ministers are Rotimi Amaechi, Godswill Akpabio, Ogbonnaya Onu, Timipre Sylva, Chris Ngige, Abubakar Malami (SAN), Uche Ogah, Pauline Tallen and Chief Tayo Alasoadura.
“In a farewell meeting held with the former Ministers on Friday, May 13, 2022, President Buhari thanked them for serving the nation sacrificially, ‘with dignity and honour’.
“While wishing them success in the upcoming elections and in future endeavours, the President commended them for their decision and courage to contest for elective offices and their compliance with his directive.
“Having resigned from the Buhari administration, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) and Dr. Chris Ngige were reported to have withdrawn their letters of resignation after the farewell meeting.
“Such withdrawal is illegal as it is constitutes a gross contravention of Section 306 (2) of the Constitution which stipulates that ‘The resignation of any person from any office established by this Constitution shall take effect when the writing signifying the resignation is received by the authority or person to whom it is addressed or by any person authorised by that authority or person to receive it.’
“Since the resignation of the former Ministers has taken effect they cannot return to the cabinet either on their own volition or on the directive of the President. “The resignation of the Ministers is not a cabinet reshuffle. It is akin to the removal of the former Ministers by the President. “Therefore, if the former Ministers are going to be reappointed the President is required by Section 147 of the Constitution to submit names to the Senate for fresh screening and confirmation”.