The Minister of Justice and Attorney General if the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN) has blamed the Legislature for the inability of the Executive to put to use funds recovered from looters.
The Minister also said the responsibility of ensuring that suspected looters were denied bail by the courts lies with the Legislature, who must amend existing laws to that effect.
Malami said these while responding to questions at an event tagged: “The Federal Government (FG) – Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) parley on policy synergy to ensure development,” held in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State yesterday. The event, aired live on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) was monitored in Abuja yesterday.
On why the Federal Government was yet to put to use funds recovered from looters, Malami said: “Expenditure is a constitutional function of appropriation. And that, exclusively, is the responsibility of the National Assembly upon the preparation and presentation by the Executive.
“It is not something that the Executive can simply deep its hands into the recovered funds without the supporting legislation by way of appropriation,” Malami said.
On why those accused of corruption, and briefly detained in prison, were now walking freely, Malami said it was the duty of the Judiciary, acting on the dictate of existing laws, to decide whether or not a detained suspect should be granted bail.
“As regard the issue that some people allegedly charged to court are moving freely over the place, I think I have to make it clear that issues about the freedom and liberty of an accused or suspect, is a chain that involves the Executive, the Legislature and indeed, the Judiciary.
“But, the ultimate, as regard the grant of bail and the freedom of an accused or suspect lies exclusively with the Judiciary, which has the responsibility of exercising the discretion to grant or refuse bail in any given circumstances.
“But, above all, the responsibility of ensuring that no corrupt suspect or accused enjoys freedom is exclusively the responsibility of the Legislature, which has the responsibility of changing our laws to ensure that those who are charged with corruption and associated vices are not granted bail,” Malami said.