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Reject Attempts To Frustrate Govt, AGF Tells N’Assembly, Judges


The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), has urged the judiciary and the legislature to reject attempts to frustrate the government.

He added that the courts should reject attempts by private individuals to disrupt government procurement procedures using baseless injunctions.

The AGF spoke while delivering a paper titled, “Strengthening the Synergy between the Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary under the Rule of Law – Executive Perspective,” at the hybrid refresher course for judges and Khadis in Abuja.

The Special Adviser to the President on Communication and Publicity, Office of the AGF, and Minister of Justice, Kamarudeen Ogundele, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday.

The statement quoted Fagbemi as saying, “It is my firm submission that the courts must continue to reject any attempt to be manipulated or employed by any individual or entity for personal benefit. In this regard, situations where private persons seeking to scuttle the government’s procurement procedures, as provided in the procurement laws or other governmental processes, by approaching the courts to acquire spurious injunctions, should be rejected by the courts.

“On the other hand, the judiciary has the responsibility to pronounce on government processes or action(s) that are not in line with the law or in the interest of the advancement of society, thereby serving as a tool for socio-economic advancement.”

Emphasising that the principle of separation of powers is a hallowed constitutional principle of the democratic government of Nigeria, the AGF said the three arms of government must stay in their assigned tracks to avoid arbitrariness or excesses by any of the arms.

The justice minister called for stronger synergy among the three arms of government for the betterment of the country.

“The need for synergy among the three arms of government cannot be over-emphasised. All the arms of government must see themselves as partners in progress. Without synergy and cooperation, the vision of our constitutional democracy is hardly achievable.

“Each arm must do all that is lawful to enhance the operation of government and no act must be done to undermine the vision of government and Nigeria as a democratic entity.

“The constitutional powers of the three arms of government overlap in some cases and each of them connects with the others at various points,” Fagbemi said.

He stressed that the judiciary must remain independent, adding that ”an efficient court system is a cornerstone of the rule of law.”

“Where the judiciary falters, that is a clear invitation to anarchy. This must never happened.

“In the same vein, the legislature must, at all times, work in such a way to help enhance the performance of the executive arm.

“This is so because virtually all the policies to be implemented by the executive in a democratic setting emanate from laws passed and/or to be passed by the legislature,” Fagbemi said.