The Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has nullified the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019 for being “an invalid statutory instrument.”
The court nullified all sales and disposals of assets made by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami, SAN under the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019.
It held that the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019 were “ultra vires the office and powers” of the AGF.
Justice Ambrose Lewis-Allagoa made the order on Monday, May 9, in suit FHC/L/CS/40/2021 filed by the plaintiff – Incorporated Trustees of HEDA Resource Centre – against the AGF as the sole defendant.
The AGF on November 9, 2020, inaugurated the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the disposal of assets forfeited to the Federal Government.
This, according to the Minister, was in accordance with the president’s directive in October 2018 following recommendations of the Presidential Audit Committee on Recovery and Management of Stolen Assets and a need for efficient management of the assets.
But HEDA, through its counsel, Omotayo Olatubosun, challenged the AGF’s power to set up the committee.
It argued that the Regulations conflicted with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Act, Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Enforcement and Administrative Act, 2015, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Act, 2004 and Independent Corrupt Practices Commission Act (ICPC), 2000, among others, on the matter of disposal of final forfeited assets
The plaintiff sought nine reliefs, including the nullification of all disposals of assets by the AGF’s Committee.
In its judgment, the court dismissed the AGF’s preliminary objection argued by its counsel, Tolu Mokunolu, and granted all of HEDA’s reliefs as prayed on the motion paper.
Justice Lewis-Allagoa held: “I am entirely in agreement with the submission of counsels to the plaintiff that the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019 are contrary to the statutory provisions of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC Act, Trafficking in Persons Cohabitation Enforcement and Administration Act, NDLEA Act and Immigration Act.
“A careful perusal of the above statutory provisions will show the provisions for the Attorney-General of the Federation to make regulations for the agencies for disposal of assets under the various enactments listed above.
“The above statutory enactments are therefore the enabling source of the Attorney-General of the Federation to the regulations.
“Consequently, the administrative powers to be exercised by the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation must flow from the enabling statutes.
“It is pertinent to state that the powers of the Attorney-General of the Federation do not override the provisions of the enabling statutes stabilising the powers of the law enforcement agencies and anti-corruption agencies and consequently the powers referred to in the commencement clause of the regulations merely are to be exercised in accordance with the Acts not to usurp the mandatory powers vested in the law enforcement agencies and the anti-corruption agencies.
“I am therefore in agreement with counsel for the plaintiff that the executive orders or any other forms of definition can be issued pursuant to session 315 of the Constitution; however, they are limited to enactments predating the 1999 Constitution.
“The Acts under Consideration in this instant suit were enacted after the 1999 Constitution and do not fall within the ambit of session 315 of the 1999 Constitution.
“In all and for the reasons hereinbefore given in this judgement, the questions put for determination in the originating summons are answered in favour of the plaintiff and all the reliefs sought are granted as prayed. This is the judgment of the court read in the open court”
The Plaintiff’s reliefs granted by the judge include a declaration that by the ICPC Act, the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019 “is an invalid statutory instrument the former having conferred no power arrogated by the Defendant to himself in the latter Regulations;
“An Order nullifying the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019 as an invalid statutory instrument same being in excess of the provisions of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission Act, 2000;
“An Order nullifying all sales and disposals of assets made by the Defendant pursuant to the said Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations, 2019 same being ultra vires the office and powers of the Defendant.”
BREAKING: Buhari Okays Reappointment Of Oniha As DG Boss
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the renewal of the appointment of Patience Oniha as the Director-General of the Debt Management Office (DMO) for a second term of five years.
A statement issued in by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said the re-appointment was in accordance to Section IV (9-i) of the Debt Management Office (Establishment ETC) Act, 2003.
The statement further said that the renewal takes effect from July 1, 2022.
“Her appointment for a second term was based on the significant achievements recorded by the DMO in the last 5 years, under her leadership.
“Amongst the achievements are the introduction of Sukuk and Green Bonds to finance the development of infrastructure where there is a huge gap.
“Under her watch, as part of the initiatives to improve the sustainability of the public debt and opening up avenues for raising long term funds for corporates, the DMO introduced long term Bonds with tenors of 30 years in the domestic and international markets.
“This is aside from attracting diverse investors including retail investors to the FGN Bond Market, ” the statement said.
It further added, “Internally, Oniha introduced reforms to strengthen the DMO, as a critical agency in the public finance ecosystem of the country.”
Senate To Continue Investigation Despite CJN’s Resignation
The Senate has resolved to continue with its investigation into the crisis in the Supreme Court despite the resignation of Justice Tanko Muhammad as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
Lawmakers in the upper chamber of the National Assembly made the resolution during the plenary on Tuesday following a motion moved by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele.
Addressing his colleagues during Tuesday’s plenary, Senator Bamidele who cited Orders 41 and 51 to move the motion drew the attention of the Senate to the assignment given to the committee at the last plenary, relating to the state of affairs of the Supreme Court.
The Senate, in its resolution, mandated the committee to go ahead with its assignment in the quest to find a long-lasting solution by interacting with relevant stakeholders to look into the complaints raised in the petition by the justices.
It also directed the committee to interface with relevant stakeholders in the three arms of government and other stakeholders and collate aggregate views and positions on the short-term, medium-term and long-term measures needed to decisively address the crisis facing the judiciary.
The lawmakers stated this to include the immediate fiscal interventions, as well as long-term and sustainable budgetary allocations required for the optimal performance of the judiciary in line with global best practices.
They also resolved to wish Justice Muhammad well after many years of meritorious service to the nation and to pray for his good health.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, had last Tuesday directed the committee to get involved in the matter with a view to unravelling the root cause of the problem in the judiciary and how best the Senate could intervene to address the concerns raised by the justices.
Justices of the Supreme Court had in a petition addressed to the immediate past CJN raised concerns over the deplorable welfare conditions and difficult working environment in the apex court.
We Will Vote AbdulRazaq 10 Times – Emir Of Ilesha Declares
AbdulRazaq’s done so much for us: Emir of Ilesha
We’ll continue to do more for our people: Gov
- The administration will soon unveil the first radio station in the Kwara North senatorial district
Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq has done so well for Ilesha Baruba community and its people, according to the Emir of the ancient town Prof. Halidu Abubakar.
In a statement on Sunday, the traditional ruler said this was why Ilesha Baruba community in Baruten local government area of Kwara State mulled the idea of naming the newly completed ringroad in the community after the Governor who constructed the first asphalted road in the axis.
Speaking with newsmen during the Governor’s inspection of the road, Prof Abubakar said the intervention of AbdulRazaq’s administration on the road has brought tremendous change to the community.
“We cannot thank His Excellency enough. We are extremely happy. Before now, you can’t pass the road like this and within three months this road was constructed. You can see the drainage all through. So, we are extremely grateful. Like everybody else, we would not mind if His Excellency will do more for us. He has done so much for us. May Allah continue bless him,” he said.
Prof Abubakar said the decision to name the road AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq Ring Road was in appreciation of the governor’s efforts to ease transportation challenges in the community.
“There is no doubt that if he is going to contest elections 10 times in Ilesha Baruba he is going to win 20 times,” the Emir declared.
AbdulRazaq, for his part, said the administration is determined to make significant impact in the lives of the people and their communities irrespective of their locations across Kwara State.
“This is a major town in Kwara State and the policy of our government is that every senatorial district and every local government must feel the impact of the government. Ilesha Baruba is hosting the campus of Kwara State University; so we are making sure that there is proper infrastructure to accommodate such investment which is still ongoing,” he said.
AbdulRazaq said the administration is embarking on several projects in Ilesha Baruba and across Baruten local government in the areas of road infrastructure, healthcare, education, communications, among others.
The administration will soon unveil the first radio station in the Kwara North senatorial district, thereby making information dissemination very easy.
“We are happy that we have done this ring road and I am impressed. This is my first time of visiting Ilesha Baruba since the completion of the road. We are replicating this kind of investments in many parts of the State,” he added.
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