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Senate approves separation of Attorney-General from Minister of Justice



The Nigerian Senate on Wednesday, has approved the separation of the office of the Minister of Justice or Commissioner for Justice from the Attorney-General of the Federation or the state.

The amendment is to enable an independent office of the attorney-general to protect it from partisanship. It will also redefine the role of the attorney-general, provide a fixed tenure, provide age and qualification for appointment and also a stringent process for the removal of occupant of the office.

Presently, the Attorney-General of the Federation or of a state is also the minister or commissioner for Justice.

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The roles and responsibilities of the attorney-general will among others be to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court of law in Nigeria, other than a court-martial, in respect of any offence created by or under any Act of the National Assembly.

Similarly, the Senate also approved the alteration of section 84 of the Constitution to establish the office of the Accountant-General of the Federal Government which will be separate from the Accountant-General of the Federation. This therfore, means that the Accountant-General of the Federation will cover the three tiers of government, while the other will take care of just the federal government.

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The Senate also approved the amendment that seeks to make the office of the Auditor-General of the Federation and of states financially independent by placing them on first line charges in the consolidated revenue funds of the federation and of the states.

The proposed amendments will be considered by the House of Representatives on Thursday and subsequently sent to the 36 state houses of assembly for concurrence.

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