First Word on SB

First Word on SB

Telling stories that matter to Nigerians


FW: What are the powers of the Attorney General of the Federation?

Aisha-Nana Salaudeen

Aisha-Nana Salaudeen

Aisha is trying to figure out how to tell as many impact stories as possible in different forms.

This article is part of our #FirstWord series to provide context on trending news.

A lot has been said about the power of the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF); especially due to the recent squabble surrounding tax evasion leveled against MTN by the Federal Government.

Abubakar Malami, Minister of Justice and AGF in a letter to MTN (earlier this month) asked the telecommunications company to pay $2bn in pending tax arrears on imported equipment to the Federal Government.

This came with a lot of criticism, especially from the investor community. They believe that writing to a private company on tax evasion is abuse of power. There have also been arguments from the public that he does not have the jurisdiction to delve into matters like this.

So, what exactly does the AGF have the power to do?

Sections 150 and 195 of the 1999 Constitution both provide for the appointment of an Attorney-General (AG) who is the Chief Law Officer of the Federation and the State respectively. The position of an AG at both the Federal and State levels is a dual position because he is also a Minister of the Government at the Federal level and at the state level, the Commissioner for Justice.

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