Abubakar Malami. attorney-general of the federation (AGF), says Nigeria is “getting it right” in the fight against corruption.
Malami spoke on Tuesday when he appeared as a guest on ‘Good Morning Nigeria,’ a programme on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).
He said President Muhammadu Buhari has adopted the right model in tackling corruption, adding that the 2019 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) revealed that Nigeria is experiencing a major decline in corruption.
“Corruption is an international major issue, so you can’t rule out the conclusion that it is indeed an international issue. But the issue is whether the Nigerian model is indeed working in terms of addressing it locally and internationally and my answer is ‘yes’,” he said.
“The parameters that are now at the basis of my conclusion is that as far as the Nigerian model is concerned, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, the corruption is indeed declining.
“Let us now have a look at the international assessment of what we are doing. At the international level, it is common knowledge that President Muhammadu Buhari has been adjudged as the champion of anti-corruption by the African Union (AU). That, by international assessment, is a pass mark of what model President Muhammadu Buhari is adopting in the fight against corruption, both for the model and the fact that we are indeed getting it right.
“If you look at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s assessment of the Nigerian situation arising from whether the country’s corruption [rate] is declining or not, the 2019 assessment which was the most recent, among the about 17 items assessed within the context of the Nigerian model, Nigeria was adjudged to have been experiencing a major decline in corruption index — about 16 of the items. That, by international assessment, if you’re divorcing yourself of the local politics and looking at it from the international perspective, is a clear establishment of pass mark.”
The attorney-general also said the legislative framework is being reviewed to achieve the desired result in the fight against corruption, adding that thousands of convictions were recorded in 2021.
“In terms of prosecution, in 2015, when we were just coming in new as a government, the number of convictions recorded by EFCC were 103 convictions. But as I am talking today, in 2021, we recorded about 2,000 convictions in one single agency. You can now multiply and get the percentage in terms of enhancement in convictions,” he said.
“If you are looking at it from the perspective of having influenced legislative framework that supports what we are doing in the fight against corruption, we have been having laws. If you are talking of the institutional framework, for example, we have been amending our laws to suit the purpose of the desired result.
“If you are talking of speed in terms of determination of high profile cases, I have stated earlier, administration of criminal justice had indeed assented as a role and that has greatly enhanced what we are doing.”