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#2021Budget: Senate drills AGF Malami, others over N2bn for legal service

The Nigerian Senate has queried the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and officials of the Ministry of Justice over N2bn it proposed to spend on legal services in 2021.

Malami and other officials of the ministry on Monday appeared before the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, to defend their 2021 budget proposal. In the document submitted to the committee, the ministry under overhead cost proposed that the sum of N2bn would be used to pay for legal services. It listed the legal services to include civil litigation, prison decongestion, trial and prosecution of Boko Haram, administration of criminal justice system, and payment for international legal obligations.

A member of the committee, Senator James Manager (PDP, Delta South), queried the underfunded state of parastatals under the Ministry of Justice, especially that of the AGF statting that it is dangerous and thus could endanger effective administration of justice. He said, “This is democracy we are practicing and if this office is dangerously underfunded then we are in for big trouble.”

Speaking on the N275m budgeted for the prosecution of maritime offshore offenders, Manager questioned the role of the Ministry of Justice as regards funding of the AGF office and other parastatals to effectively carry out its judicial duties.

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