Right now, Abubakar Malami (SAN), is a familiar name across the country. It is a name that opens doors. He has served as the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the
the federation, since the inception of President Muhammadu Buhari’s first term in office. As a key associate and aide of Buhari, he has to defend Mr. President over & over again. That is why Abubakar Malami has had many controversies that put his name on the front pages of many newspapers all the time, especially his capacity as Minister of Justice and AGF.
Abubakar Malami raised dust when he unilaterally appointed two Nigerian lawyers, Oladipo Okpeseyi and Temitope Adebayo, to supervise the processes for the return of Abacha’s loot of $321 million from some of the ex-maximum rulers’ foreign accounts, and requesting that $16 million should be paid to the two lawyers.
Malami’s demand stirred debate in the political space as former President Olusegun Obasanjo had earlier appointed and paid a Swiss lawyer, Enrico Monfrini, to carry out the same task. Manfrini was already done with the task, and all that was needed was for Malami as the AGF was to write to his counterpart in Switzerland with whom the funds were already domiciled for the money to be released. When the case was receiving attention from Nigerians, Malami said that Manfrini had requested 20 per cent of the recovered funds, a claim which Malami had denied.
On denial of human right and disobedience of court order, he had repeatedly ignored in which he showed high-handedness, are court orders, which had ruled for the release of Mr Sambo Dasuki, Malami had shown support for his continued incarceration.
He was once quoted as saying that “the repeated court orders for the respect of Mr Dasuki’s right to freedom did not supersede the rights of Nigerians killed by the actions of Mr Dasuki.” Among other cases, the Apo Six policemen, Ibrahim Danjuma, Magu, Abdulrasheed Maina, and had stood his ground to pursue or discontinue any course to his whim, ignoring objections from any political or administrative quarters. His recent controversy was on the issue of Miyetti Allah and the beer parlour comparison he made on national TV. He had posited that the Southern Governors had has no right to ban open grazing in the South when beer parlours still exist and run by the southerners in the northern states.
Nevertheless, Malami is an important voice in the Buhari presidency. It is as much a recognition of Malami’s leading position in the current administration, and the sum total of his larger than life presence in the Buhari presidency that Business Hallmark newspaper gave him a deservedly award of the Public Servant of the Year last year.
In spite of being the youngest attorney-general, the news around him centres on either having a spat with his colleagues in the legal profession or spotlighting on decisions on national interest that he has influenced. There have been speculations in the media that Malami is a long-standing ally of President Buhari, but much more an important member of the cabal around Buhari who is believed to be the power -behind -the scene pulling counsel presidential strings.
According to an inside source in Aso Rock, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has begun moves to take a shot at the 2023 Presidency, and he’s ready to go head-on with any opposition within or outside the ruling party. Some of his critics said that his 2023 presidential ambition may rely heavily on funds funding from sponsors. Malami dropped his earlier ambition of contesting the Kebbi State governorship election and is rather gunning for the Presidency.
It was gathered that Malami would use his influence in the Presidency to attempt to change the permutations in the All Progressives Congress (APC) or rather look for another party as cover to pursue his ambition. He told newsmen in March that he was too big to contest for governor, having served as Attorney-General and Minister of Justice under the Buhari administration.
Mr Abubakar Malami was born on the 17th of April 1967. Malami hails from Kebbi State and did his elementary and secondary schooling in the North. He then went on to study Law at the Usman Danfodiyo University in Sokoto state where he graduated in 1991. By the following year, 1992, Malami had been called to the bar. He didn’t stop there as he proceeded to the University of Maiduguri, in Borno State, wherein in 1994, he obtained a Master’s Degree in Administration. He was recognised as Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) in 2008.
Malami has had a successful career in the legal field as he has served in different capacities. National Legal Adviser to the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). He also served as a counsel as well as a magistrate in his home state of Kebbi. Malami was also a resource person for the Manifesto Drafting Sub-Committee which served the Inter Joint Party Merger Committees among the defunct political parties, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP). and a splinter group of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) led by Rochas Okorocha. Malami, therefore, played an integral role in the formation of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
He joined politics in the year 2014 after he threw his hat in the ring to contest for the governorship position under the aegis APC. He, however, lost out in the party primaries to current Kebbi State Governor, Atiku Bagudu. Upon the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Cabinet, he was named the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federation.
On 21 August 2019, he was re-appointed the Federation’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General by President Muhammadu Buhari on 21 August 2019.