By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), yesterday revealed that Nigeria is awaiting the return of $200million from Netherlands and Switzerland, as part of the OPL 245 Malabu Oil.
The AGF also said that the Ministry of Justice facilitated the recovery of $62billion arrears owed the federal government by oil companies in the country, which is part of money accruable to the government from the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA).
The AGF revealed this while declaring open a capacity building workshop and interactive session with Judiciary Correspondents in Abuja,Tuesday.
Malami also said that the President Mohammadu Buhari administration’s anti-corruption crusade through the ministry has facilitated the recovery of $62 billion arrears from oil companies as part of federation government Production Sharing Agreement (PSA).
Giving an account of the achievements of his administration, Malami also revealed that the sum of $311million was recovered from the United State and New Jersey, in the third phase of Abacha loot and another $6.3 million Abacha loot from the Republic of Northern Island.
He further said the money has been paid into the federal government treasury for utility development such as Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Kano-Abuja Expressway and the second Niger Bridge in line with agreement reached with the foreign partners.
In furtherance to the above, the AGF said that over N685 million was recovered through the help of whistleblowers within the last one year while N500 million was recovered from forfeited vessels, trucks, and barges.
The AGF said that a legal framework introduced by the ministry has helped to raise stamp duty collection from a mere total of N22 billion over the years to N66 billion within the last six months of the amendment of the act.He said that some bills which are currently before the National Assembly, including the electronic transaction, electronic evidence act, digital management act and electronic banking act will stimulate the economy when passed into law.
There are several other acts to regulate the emerging digital financial sub sector of the economy.
Some of these acts will provide for national digital certification authority that will regulate issuance and processing of public and private electronic key validations.
“The expected bills will prepare Nigeria for emerging realities relating to digital cash, bitcom and e-currency,’ the minister added.
In his opening remark, the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, in the ministry, Dayo Apata(SAN) said effective coverage of the Justice sector will help prevent injustice in the country.
“This should be done by shining the spotlight on the actions of Judges, Lawyers and other stakeholders in the justice system”.
He said that the growing interest by the public in what the judiciary sector does, necessitated the workshop.
”The public is interested in how the sector handles criminal cases, election litigations, and fight against corruption among others.
‘’The above underscored the importance of the media in creating the much needed awareness that will help shape public opinion and perception”.
He said the workshop was organised because of complaints that some news organisations send journalists with little training to cover judiciary, without recourse to the complexities and intricacies of the sector.
There are also the complaints of sensational reporting, inaccurate presentation of facts or mutilation of context, contempt of court, media trials among others.
“Therefore, it is our hope that this workshop would strengthen the skills of judiciary correspondents to achieve efficient and effective coverage of the sector,’ he added.