At the legal year celebration of the Supreme Court of Nigeria which held on Monday, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN, seized the opportunity to explain how President Muhammadu Buhari prioritized the judiciary through increased budgetary allocation.
The legal year event also features the swearing-in of about 62 Senior Advocates of Nigeria .
Speaking at the event, Malami told his audience which include judicial officers and lawyers, that his principal’s commitment to the justice sector is clearly proven by his increased budgetary allocation over the years.
“I like to place on record that since inception, this administration, in line with its commitment to promoting the rule of law, has accorded top priority to the funding of the judiciary. Hence, we have ensured a progressive budgetary allocation to the judiciary which has seen an increase from N73billion in 2015 to over N130billion in 2022. A further increased sum of N150billion has been proposed for 2023. In addition to the foregoing, we have provided special intervention when the need arises, particularly, in meeting the huge cost of running election tribunals,” he said.
The AGF added that a number of legal reforms by his office have resulted in the recovery of looted funds while rechanneling it towards the development of critical infrastructure across the country.
“On its part, the Federal Ministry of Justice is in the process of reviewing our National Policy on Justice, to enhance our ability to tackle issues hindering the entire justice sector. Only recently, the Federal Executive Council approved the revised National Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan (2022–2026). “We have also recorded modest gains from the operationalization of the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act, 2022, vide which recoveries running into billions in various currencies are being ploughed into funding critical infrastructural projects, such as the Abuja-Kano & Lagos-Ibadan Expressways, and 2nd Niger Bridge, all under the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund,” he said.
Malami charged the new Senior Advocates to use their elevated positions as senior members of the Bar, to serve as role models for all aspiring lawyers, especially the young wigs.
“As I welcome the new silk into the inner bar, I implore you all to see it as a call to duty to promote the highest ethical standards of the bar and promoting the rule of law, by helping the frontiers of our jurisprudence. You must avoid all unethical conduct that would bring the noble profession into disrepute and focus on promoting a healthy relationship between the bar and the bench, the AGF said while expressing hope of “better days” for the judiciary.