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Odinkalu: Malami Acting Like ‘Senior Advocate Of Bandits’

Chidi Odinkalu, a former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has criticised Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice of Nigeria, ‘for choosing some separatism as tolerable’.

Odinkalu says he finds it “troubling” that Malami (SAN) is “acting as the Senior Advocate of bandits, rather than the Senior Advocate of Nigeria”.

He argued that bandits and killer herdsmen ought to have been officially declared terrorists by Nigerian authorities — if truly they are impartial.

“There isn’t one separatism in Nigeria. There are separatisms,” Odinkalu, a professor, said while sharing his thoughts on separatist agitations in Nigeria via Arise TV recently.

“President Buhari, sadly, aided and abetted by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has chosen some separatism as tolerable. If you remember, Boko Haram declared a caliphate. That’s separatism. The bandits are not exactly seeking to accept the unity of Nigeria.

“So you’ve got the attorney general of the Federation acting as the Senior Advocate of bandits, rather than the Senior Advocate of Nigeria. That is troubling.”

Many critics of the Muhammadu Buhari administration often condemn Malami, saying he is “incompetent”.

POLITICS NIGERIA reports that Malami had been accused of professional misconduct. In June 2019, he appeared before a disciplinary panel of the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee to face the petitioners seeking the stripping of his Senior Advocate of Nigeria rank for alleged misconduct. The case was dismissed due to procedural issues on the part of the claimant.

In 2020, a lawyer, Izu Aniagu, submitted a new petition to the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC) to remove Malami’s Senior Advocate of Nigeria rank. Aniagu’s petition, which received over 10,000 online signatures, was based on the claim that Malami unilaterally deleted certain provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners in violation of the law. Later in 2020, Aniagu accused the LPPC and Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad of purposeful inaction on his petition.

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